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UPDATE: FCI kitchen worker charged with smuggling in cocaine

A 33-year-old food service employee at Franklin Correctional Institution has been arrested for smuggling into the prison carefully-packaged cocaine in what authorities say was intended for distribution.

Officer Doug Scarabin, from the Carrabelle Police Department, accompanied by Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jared Hewitt, arrested Frantz Michel Demosthenes, 33, Tallahassee, early Monday morning at the prison on charges of smuggling contraband into a state correctional institution, distribution of cocaine, and possession of marijuana over 20 grams.

According to the arrest report, Scarabin and Hewitt arrived at about 1:12 a.m. and learned from an FCI captain that Demosthenes had been found in possession of the contraband, concealed around his groin, during a routine search upon his entrance into FCI.

The two officers then conducted a clothed search in the men’s bathroom, which produced eight ounces of cocaine, a little more than six ounces of tobacco, and two-and-one-half ounces of marijuana.

“The different amounts and variations of contraband were packaged in a color-coded fashion with yellow tape marking the tobacco, green tape marking the (marijuana) and black tape marking the (cocaine),” read the report. 

Scarabin said that after being read his Miranda rights, Demosthenes was cooperative, and granted the officer the right to search his vehicle in the parking lot.

The officer reported finding a Taurus G2 semi-automatic pistol in the driver’s side door area. “I informed Mr. Demosthenes that the way that the gun was possessed in the vehicle was not the proper way and he could be charged with a crime,” read the report. “I instructed Mr. Demosthenes the proper way to carry.”

Advised of the gun, the FCI captain asked that the car be towed.

At a first appearance later that day, County Judge J. Gordon Shuler placed Demosthenes on a $25,500 bond, and appointed the public defender to represent him. The judge also ordered him to submit to random drug testing and to have no contact with illegal drugs or any firearms.

In a March 31 motion, Demosthenes secured permission to be represented by Tallahassee attorney Nathan Prince, who filed a plea of not guilty on behalf of his client.

Demosthenes was hired Oct. 16, 2020 by the Florida Department of Corrections, and held the job of vocational food service coordinator at a rate of pay of $13.83 per hour.

“The Florida Department of Corrections has zero tolerance for staff who act inappropriately and is contrary to our core values of respect, integrity, courage, selfless service, and compassion,” said Paul Walker, a spokesman for the department. “Any willful breach of our values or participation in illegal activity by FDC staff will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal and arrest.”

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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