Two correctional facility
workers facing charges
GUNNISON—Investigations have been completed and felony charges have been levied against two people who were working at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, according to Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels.
Joseph Conrad Cote, 45, formerly of Salina, has been charged with distribution of a controlled substance inside a correctional facility, a first-degree felony. He worked as a corrections officer at the prison and he has since been fired, according to Daniels. His crimes allegedly occurred during the summer.
A team of prison investigators discovered that Cote had smuggled a cellphone into the prison and subsequently found out he was selling the opiod, Suboxone, to inmates, Daniels said. “It was an excellent job by the investigators.”
According to a news article in the Desert News, Cote was under financial stress and he became compromised by a group of inmates. He would meet with a relative of the inmates outside the prison to receive the drugs and then bring them into the prison. Cote is believed to have been paid several thousand dollars.
Cote has been released on bail and his initial appearance is scheduled by video conference for Jan. 6, 2021.
The other person implicated with criminal activity at the prison is Jolene Huseby, 38, formerly of Manti. She has been charged with custodial sexual relations, a third-degree felony, for allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with an inmate, which is an illegal abuse of trust and power.
She has been fired from her job and has since moved to Blackfoot, Idaho, Daniels said.
Huseby was an instructor in the Inmate Education Program and taught GED classes at the prison. She was not an employee with the department of corrections, Daniels said.
Her initial appearance is scheduled by video conference for Jan. 6, 2021.
These are the first serious criminal charges for both suspects, and they are likely to enter into a plea agreement, which is part of the process, Daniels said.