A St. Louis Corrections Officer and an inmate were charged Friday (May 6) after police say the corrections officer brought fentanyl into the Medium Security Institution at least twice last fall, which led to two nonfatal overdoses there.
The corrections officer, Joeisha Cofer, and the inmate, Anthony Chatman, are both facing charges of delivery or possession of a controlled substance at a jail and drug trafficking charges, court records show. Judge David Roither ordered Cofer to be held without bond, noting she is “a danger to the crime victim, the community or another person.” Before her arrest, Cofer worked at the prison for four years and now she is currently sitting behind bars at her former workplace.
Police found text messages dating to October 23, 2021, that showed Cofer and Chatman discussing their plans on how to transport the drugs along with footage showing the corrections officer interacting with someone inside a car on the parking lot at the jail and bringing multiple items to Chatman’s cell, according to the court records.
In November 2021, there were two non-fatal overdoses of inmates, which led correction officers to find 33 fentanyl pills in Chatman’s cell during a search. Cofer told police that she brought the fentanyl pills to Chatman at least twice during an interview.
A statement was also released by Commissioner Clemons Abdullah who said an internal investigation was launched months ago, which led to Cofer’s arrest. “The Corrections Division initiated an internal investigation several months ago in the City Justice Facilities. This investigation resulted in an arrest of a correctional officer,” the statement read.
Chatman was being held at the jail along Hall Street on 13 charges related to a shooting on May 18, 2021 at a St. Louis gas station, according to KSDK. In that shooting, police said that two women were struck while parked at the gas station with three children inside the car. The children were uninjured.