By Larry Hobbs, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Tuesday, April 10, 2001
SOUTH BAY -- The pot and crack cocaine were fake, but a South Bay Correctional Facility officer's intentions to smuggle the drugs into the prison were real, authorities said Monday.
State certified corrections officer Lynette Q. Sholtz was arrested Friday at a service station near the prison after deputies said she accepted $1,250 from an undercover agent to sneak what she thought were drugs in to prisoners, county sheriff's Sgt. Robert Quinones said.
She was charged with possession with intent to distribute an imitation controlled substance, and with bribery.
Sholtz, 34, of Lake Placid was released from the county jail later Friday on $4,500 bond and has been placed on administrative leave by WCC, the private company that runs the state prison.
The sheriff's office, WCC (formerly Wackenhut) and the state Department of Corrections arranged the sting after getting word that Sholtz had been smuggling drugs inside, Quinones said.
Quinones said Sholtz had done this numerous times. He said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible.
An undercover officer posed as one of Sholtz's outside contacts and arranged by phone to meet her around noon in the ladies room of the service station, just down the road from the prison on U.S. Highway 27, Quinones said.
The fake drugs were fabricated in the sheriff's office crime lab, he said. Agents arrested Sholtz inside the bathroom immediately after she accepted the cash and fake drugs, he said.
She has worked at the prison since May 1999.
"She wasn't looking at the drugs, she was looking at the money," Quinones said. "She said, `It looks good.' She was in a hurry to get back to work. As soon as she accepted it, we arrested her."