WENATCHEE - The annex at the Chelan County Regional Justice Center was a hotbed of drug dealing and sexual encounters this past summer, according to documents filed with Chelan County Superior Court.
A recently filed report points to more illegal activity than was first reported when corrections officer Charles B. Storlie was arrested on Oct. 12. Inmates paid Storlie $150 to have their girlfriends enter the annex for sex, illegal cell phone use was common and inmates smoked methamphetamine and marijuana in the annex, according to Oct. 12 court documents signed by Chelan County sheriff’s Detective Jeff Dilks.
In one instance, an inmate “was suspected of running a methamphetamine trafficking organization from within (the jail) by using jail telephones and prohibited cell phones,” Dilks wrote in the court document.
Allegations in Dilks’ report, which all came from inmates, add up to three sexual encounters, which were paid for in bribes; and several inmates making drug transactions, using drugs and using cell phones within the annex. The use of cell phones is prohibited in the jail.
Phil Stanley, jail administrator, said Tuesday, “We have fully reviewed security and found that some changes needed to be made and those changes have been made.” He said he could not comment further because the matter is “still a pending personnel investigation.”
Storlie’s attorney, Tony DiTommaso, did not return a phone call asking for comment.
Roy Fore, the deputy prosecutor handling the case, said Wednesday that he cannot comment on the inmate allegations because the case is pending trial. He said, however, that he does not expect any other corrections deputies to be charged in the case.
Storlie, 40, has been charged with three counts of bribery and one count each of forgery and complicity to escape in the first degree. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Two of the bribery counts accuse Storlie of accepting money on Sept. 10 and Sept. 13 in exchange for permitting a jail inmate to receive contraband. The third bribery count accuses Storlie of accepting money on Sept. 12 in exchange for permitting a jail inmate to receive contraband and/or an unauthorized visit.
Storlie is charged with forgery for inserting information into a computer record that allowed the release — about four hours early — of a jail inmate on Sept. 13.
Storlie has worked as a corrections officer in the jail since 1995. He is on paid administrative leave.
Among the allegations filed in recent court documents:
Inmates routinely got contraband from an opening in the laundry room of the jail annex. “The opening was large enough to allow small objects to slide under the door from the outside. It was common for annex inmates to arrange to have drugs delivered into the annex via the laundry room door,” Dilks wrote. “.... Illegal drug use was so prevalent and so blatant that (one inmate) believed that all of the annex residents were aware of it. (The inmate) said that the inmates that used methamphetamine would smoke it openly at all hours of the day and night.” Dilks noted that the annex was staffed by only one corrections deputy at a time and he quotes an inmate saying that “Once the corrections deputy sat at his desk, ‘he didn’t come out for anything.’ ”
Searches by jail officials in August yielded cell phones and drugs in locations inside the jail where an inmate said they would be found.
An inmate stated that “it was common knowledge that deputy Storlie would open the side laundry room door that faces King Street so inmates could smuggle in tobacco and cell phones.”
Inmates said Storlie charged inmates $50 to allow them “to possess and use their cell phones while housed in the annex.”
Two inmates, who did not know each other, stated that Storlie “would allow inmates to bring their girlfriends into the annex for sex. In return, the inmates paid Storlie $150.”
An inmate said Storlie may have accepted $5,000 to allow another inmate to run a methamphetamine business from inside the jail.
An inmate said “Storlie was very suspicious of most of the annex inmates and would not allow most of them to bring in females for sex. ... Storlie was apparently not suspicious of (three inmates) because they are hardened career criminals and would not be likely to ‘snitch’ on Storlie.”
On July 28, Storlie allowed four inmates outside the annex to watch a lightning storm. During this time, one of the inmates made a call on a cell phone and later his girlfriend “arrived with coffee drinks from McDonald’s. She and (the inmate) went into the annex together for 20 to 30 minutes and when she later came out, (one of the other two inmates said he saw the first inmate) give Storlie money.”
The jail annex houses about 65 inmates in what is considered a minimum-security facility, Stanley said. He described the annex as dormitory style and said there are no cells or bars. He said about half of the annex population is out in the community on work crews on any given day.