Panama City, Fla. - A former prosecutor and political opponent of State Attorney Glenn Hess was charged with two felonies Tuesday.
Greg Wilson, who served as Hess' Chief Assistant and then ran against him last year, is charged with introduction of contraband into a jail facility and perjury. Wilson has hired Waylon Graham and Jim White to represent him. They declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.
The entire news release from the Bay County Sheriff's Office is below:
The Bay County Sheriff's Office announced today the arrest of local attorney Greg Wilson. Wilson has been charged with one count of Introduction of Contraband into a Detention Facility and one count of Perjury.
While working on an unrelated case, a Bay County Sheriff's Office Sergeant discovered a possible inappropriate relationship between Wilson and an inmate, and also a possible security breach at the Bay County Jail Facility. An investigation was subsequently initiated.
Wilson spoke by phone with the inmate in August of 2017. This conversation was made on a public line, well known to be a recorded line. Wilson chose to speak with the inmate on this line instead of using a private, secured line available for private attorneys to have unrecorded conversations with their clients in jail. During this conversation, Wilson was asked by an inmate to retrieve an item from her car, which was parked at the jail. Wilson stated he will take care of it and that he will dispose of it. The inmate then stated to Wilson "I don't want it disposed of, use your brain." During her interview with Majors Stanford and Anglin on October 1, 2017, the inmate stated the item she referred to in her conversation with Wilson was "suboxone", a controlled substance.
On September 13, 2017, Wilson met with an inmate at the Bay County Jail. This meeting was videotaped with no audio. During the meeting, the inmate took a small package out of her pocket and placed in Wilson's notebook, which was open on the table. Wilson was aware of her action. This inmate then left the room and a second inmate entered the room to meet with Wilson. Wilson took the package and positioned it so the second inmate could pick it up, which she did, placing the item in her shirt pocket.
When the second inmate left the meeting and was going back to the cell dorm, before jail personnel could search her, she was captured on video putting the package down the front of her pants. Part of the package was later recovered from the second inmate's room when she provided it to jail personnel stating she had received it from Greg Wilson. In a recorded conversation between the first and second inmates, the second inmate stated that jail personnel had messed up and only recovered half of the package.
Wilson again met with the first inmate on September 25, 2017. A video with no audio was made of this meeting. During the meeting, Wilson took a business card wrapped in what appeared to be a brown paper towel and placed it where the inmate could retrieve it.
On September 30, 2017, a sworn statement was taken from Wilson to allow him to explain his actions. During this statement, the defendant denied any involvement in the passing of, and any knowledge of the passing of any contraband, to inmates. Wilson stated he "never seen 'em pass anything, I've never facilitated them passing anything, I've never helped them, I've never allowed them to."
On October 1, 2017, BCSO Major Jimmy Stanford and Major Rick Anglin spoke with the first inmate in the videos. The first inmate stated Wilson facilitated the passing of correspondence from other inmates to her, then to him, and then to the second inmate. According to this inmate, this happened approximately two or three times. The inmate stated Wilson gave her cologne-soaked business cards approximately six times to give to other female inmates so they could have the smell of a man in their cell.
Wilson was found to be in violation of Florida State Statute 951.22:
County detention facilities; contraband articles.
(1) It is unlawful, except through regular channels as duly authorized by the sheriff or officer in charge, to introduce into or possess upon the grounds of any county detention facility as defined in s. 951.23 or to give to or receive from any inmate of any such facility wherever said inmate is located at the time or to take or to attempt to take or send therefrom any of the following articles which are hereby declared to be contraband for the purposes of this act, to wit: Any written or recorded communication; any currency or coin; any article of food or clothing; any tobacco products as defined in s. 210.25(12); any cigarette as defined in s. 210.01(1); any cigar; any intoxicating beverage or beverage which causes or may cause an intoxicating effect; any narcotic, hypnotic, or excitative drug or drug of any kind or nature, including nasal inhalators, sleeping pills, barbiturates, and controlled substances as defined in s. 893.02(4); any firearm or any instrumentality customarily used or which is intended to be used as a dangerous weapon; and any instrumentality of any nature that may be or is intended to be used as an aid in effecting or attempting to effect an escape from a county facility
Due diligence was given to the method of investigation because of issues of attorney/client privilege, and to the direction of this investigation. Research was done, and opinions sought and followed from prosecutors in other jurisdictions. Gov. R. Scott appointed 2nd Circuit State Attorney Jack Campbell to handle this case. After his office reviewed the case, warrants were applied for and obtained today, October 24, 2017.
Wilson was arrested late this afternoon and charged with Perjury and Introduction of Contraband. When arrested, Chief Joel Heape presented Wilson with a letter revoking his attorney privileges to the Bay County Jail until further notice.
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