Deputy jailer arrested for bribery, contraband

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By Amanda Kelly, Staff Writer

A Grant County Detention Center deputy jailer was arrested Nov. 8 for allegedly being bribed to smuggle chewing tobacco for inmates. 

Dennis Donald Miracle, 26, of Williamstown, was charged with bribery of a public servant, first-degree official misconduct and second-degree promoting contraband.

Miracle accepted $45 to give inmates Jimmy Green and Jamie Ferguson cans of Grizzly Wintergreen Pouches on three separate occasions between Sept. 15 and Nov. 4, according to a complaint warrant. 

Jail investigator Liam McCarthy said Miracle said he acted out of “dire financial straits.” 

“He said he didn’t have money to pay his bills; he didn’t have money to pay a phone payment, a car payment or a house payment,” McCarthy said. “He said he was behind on absolutely everything. That’s a prime candidate for manipulation.”

Miracle obtained the bribe money and tobacco from an outside source. McCarthy said they’re looking to arrest the outside source who provided the bribe money and tobacco that was smuggled into the jail. 

McCarthy also found in Miracle’s possession weapons and ammunition, including a Glock 22 handgun, several knives, three boxes of ammunition, two speed magazine loaders, three magazines, a small pry bar, a baton and holder, a set of brass knuckles and a 50-round magazine in his car. All of those possessions have been returned to Miracle upon his bond release. 

Jailer Chris Hankins and McCarthy said Miracle had been a deputy for less than six months before being arrested and charged. 

Bribery of a public servant is a Class C felony, which is punishable for five to 10 years of prison, according to Kentucky statutes. The other two charges are misdemeanors. 

McCarthy said he is investigating Miracle’s actions while he was a deputy, including if Miracle also brought in illegal substances for inmates in exchange for money. 

Miracle was arrested and lodged in Grant County Detention Center, but posted a $5,000 signature bond signed by his mother for his release. 

A court date has not been set. 

McCarthy said he has an audio and video recorded confession from Miracle, and he has a written confession from Miracle. 

Hankins said he continues to crack down on inmate and deputy behavior in an effort to clean up the jail. 

“I told them ‘bring it in and become a resident,’” Hankins said. “I’m not going to tolerate it.”

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