Multiple arrests related to contraband at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution

Posted on November 20, 2018 by Staff reports

The Florida Department of Corrections and Office of the Inspector General on Tuesday announced the arrest of five people, including former and current female corrections officers at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution, related to the smuggling of contraband.

Former Corrections Officer Caitlyn Handley, Current Corrections Officers Olivia Braswell  and Mia Martinez-Welch, former trainee Leslie Penrod and Geraldine Bauer, the mother of an inmate, have been charged in connection to what investigators say was an “organized” effort to introduce contraband into the prison, its annex and a work camp.

According to the state, charges vary among each individual, but primarily consist of unlawful compensation, introduction of contraband, official misconduct, gang-related activities and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

FDOC discovered cell phones in inmate custody, including one in which Inmate Joshua Bauer had exchanged “thousands” of text messages with Handley. The investigation revealed they had engaged in an “improper romantic/sexual relationship” during her employment as a corrections officer and, per the affidavits, there were “explicit videos” of her.

The affidavits also state Martinez-Welch and Inmate Bauer had discussed the transfer of money for introducing methamphetamine, tobacco and bombs into SRCI Annex.

There are other suspects implicated in this on-going investigation and additional warrants are expected to be issued in the near future.