Detention officer charged with selling contraband to inmates, Harnett County sheriff says

Local News

Michael Tandy (Harnett County Sheriff’s Office)

LILLINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) – A Harnett County detention officer is facing a series of charges and is out of his job after an investigation revealed he was selling contraband to inmates, Sheriff Wayne Coats announced Wednesday.

A two-month investigation was completed after the sheriff’s office received a report of a detention officer selling contraband, such as tobacco products, to inmates, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators said Detention Officer Michael Tandy, 27, sold contraband to inmates between May 2019 and July 2019.

On July 29, Coats fired Tandy.

Tandy was arrested Tuesday and charged with eight counts of selling or giving tobacco to an inmate and one count of failing to discharge duties. 

Tandy was hired by the sheriff’s office on April 22.

“I require all employees to demonstrate professional and ethical conduct both on and off duty and will fully investigate any report of misconduct by my staff as it is our goal to provide safety to our detention staff and detainees housed at the facility,” Coats said. “This incident was not simply a mistake or bad decision on Mr. Tandy’s part, it was a terrible decision to commit an illegal act that reflects negatively on the reputation of every honest, professional, upstanding, employee of the Harnett County Detention Center. I am extremely disappointed in his actions.”

Tandy was released on a $25,000 secured bond and his first court date is scheduled for Aug. 29. in Harnett County district court.

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