A Nevada prison employee has been arrested on drug and gun charges.
It’s another blow to the state prison system which has been rocked by the resignation of its leader and a case involving cell phones smuggled to an accused killer.
The latest case involves a 12-year veteran employee of the Ely State Prison. That employee — a case worker at the maximum security lock-up — is charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
Christina Tripp, 46, is facing federal charges. She’s been a case worker at the prison for about a dozen years.
Federal prosecutors say she was arrested over the weekend in Las Vegas while making a deal to buy about a half-pound of methamphetamine.
During the arrest, officers found a loaded .45 caliber pistol in the car she was in. The gun had been reported stolen.
It’s not clear if the gun was hers or belonged to a roommate who was arrested and charged with her.
During her arrest, Tripp allegedly told police she had brought meth into the prison at Ely on at least one occasion in the past.
Federal magistrate Cam Ferhenbach ordered Tripp and her co-defendant held without bail pending trial.
These charges come after a corrections officer was sentenced to probation in January for smuggling cell phones into the High Desert facility on behalf of accused killer Ammar Harris.
And less than two weeks ago, corrections Chief Greg Cox resigned under pressure from the governor over a number of issues involving the corrections system including use of force.
The trial of Tripp and her co-defendant will actually take place in Reno where the investigation apparently began.