Sheriff: Jail deputy smuggled drugs into Genesee County jail

Genesee County Jail

The Genesee County sheriff says one of his own, Amy Gatica, smuggled cocaine into the Genesee County Jail for the last year and a half, distributing the drugs to an inmate.

The sheriff says Gatica brought in cocaine and gave it to an inmate she knew from outside of the jail.

Sheriff Pickell alleges the corrections officer also illegally used a physician's personal information to get her hands on Vicodin.

It's a reversal of roles for Amy Gatica.

The corrections officer donned an orange jumpsuit after she's accused of smuggling drugs into the Genesee County jail.

â??Itâ??s bold and it's not tolerated here,â?? says Robert Pickell, sheriff of Genesee County.

Charged with 14 felonies, Gatica was arrested Thursday morning when she showed up for work at the jail.

â??Gatica was also found to have drugs in her system at the time of her arrest,â?? says Pickell. He adds that the deputy gave cocaine to an inmate she knew for more than a year.

â??She knew them from outside of the jail,â?? says Pickell. â??From her relationships with drugs,â?? he adds.

Sheâ??s also charged with fraudulently obtaining Vicodin.

Gaticaâ??s lawyer says the pain meds are for his client's back pain.

â??It's our position that it's a health issue, not a criminal issue,â?? says Frank Manley, who represents Gatica.

â??You can't medicate with cocaine, it's against the law,â?? says Pickell.

Itâ??s the second time in just six months a deputy at the jail is accused of misconduct. Pickell says no one in his office is above the law.

â??Theyâ??re criminals and that's how they'll be dealt with. There's nobody that's a sacred cow in here,â?? says Pickell.

Gatica is free on $41,000 bail. She is suspended without pay. Pickell says she will be fired this Thursday.