Joint Investigation by the Richland Police Department, Rankin County Sheriff’s Office and MS Department of Corrections Results in Arrest of Correctional Officer
On January 2nd, 2016, Rankin County deputies were contacted by the Richland Police Department in reference to a suspicious vehicle they had stopped for an improper tag that had just left a residence in the county. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Michael HILL who was a correctional officer at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. During the stop and investigation it was learned that HILL had just left the residence of Clifton LOPEZ at 130 Tazan Avenue. Officers further learned during the investigation that LOPEZ has a younger brother in prison at CMCF and that he had passed contraband to HILL to be delivered to his brother. A search of HILL revealed a cellophane wrapped package that contained a cell phone and tobacco.
Both HILL and LOPEZ were arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Introduce Contraband into a Correctional Facility. MDOC Internal Affairs was contacted and did respond to the Rankin County Jail. Both Suspects admitted to conspiring to bringing the tobacco and phone into the prison.
Rankin County Court Judge Kent McDaniel set HILL’s bond at $10,000 and LOPEZ’s bond at $2,500. Both suspects have posted bond.
MDOC Investigators will submit the case to District Attorney Michael Guest for presentation to a Rankin County Grand Jury.