Salem City Employee Charged With Providing Cell Phone to Inmate
A Salem man working as a road crew supervisor for the city has been accused of providing a Salem Correctional Center inmate with a cell phone.
West Virginia State Police arrested Gerald Leon Bonnell, 59, and charged him with 33 counts of accessory to possession of a cell phone by an inmate. Bonnell admitted to purchasing minutes for a prepaid TracFone at the Dollar General Store located in Salem. Bonnell was aware that inmates are not permitted to use cell phones or other telecommunications devices without permission of the warden, according to a criminal complaint filed by Cpl. Steven Swiger.
Bonnell concealed the phone on himself or within a city of Salem Chevrolet van, said the criminal complaint. The inmate, Richard Lee Brown, remains jailed at the Salem Correctional Center and is charged with four counts of felony possession of a cell phone by an inmate. Brown was originally at the center on robbery and forgery charges.
Bonnell is being held in North Central Regional Jail in lieu of $165,000 bail.
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