“Sheriff: JSO Corrections Officer Among 17 Charged in Jail Drug Smuggling Ring”

Jacksonville, FL: A six-month investigation into a drug ring at the Duval County jail has led to the arrest of 17 people, including a prison officer for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, his sister, and a worker for the city of Jacksonville’s Public Works department, Waters said Tuesday.

Waters said that the long investigation, called Operation Snow Globe, found that Kobe Collett brought a lot of drugs into the jail. Collett quit his job with JSO after just over two years when he was arrested.

The arrest of Collett on Monday led to charges of one second-degree felony count of illegal payment or reward for official behavior, three third-degree felony counts of criminal conspiracy, one third-degree felony count of money laundering, and a third-degree felony count of bringing illegal goods into a detention facility.

Their office, the State Attorney’s Office, will now handle the case.

Waters said the operation began with a tip in October 2023 from a secret source that Collett was sneaking drugs into the Duval County jail for inmates.

“This information gave detectives the start of a six-month investigation that included talking to a lot of witnesses, watching a lot of video evidence, and looking over a lot of financial records,” Waters said. “On October 23, we quickly took away all of his power as a correctional officer and took him out of the jail.”

Waters said that Collett’s sister, Elisha Hughes, was also making money by bringing drugs into jail. Hughes has been charged with three counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of money laundering.

Waters said that during the probe, detectives also found out that Corey Copeland, a worker for the government, was selling drugs to prisoners who were on work crews that he was in charge of.

There are three counts against Copeland: selling marijuana, giving or getting any drug or controlled substance to a county detention center inmate, and selling Schedule 1 or 2 synthetic drugs.

Waters said that 14 prisoners were also charged in the investigation. They were charged with one count of trafficking in fentanyl, 14 counts of giving or receiving any drug or controlled substance to a prisoner in a county detention facility, 13 counts of having a controlled substance on their person, and one count of having drug paraphernalia on their person.

“To be clear, we cannot positively link all of these arrests to Collett’s organization’s illegal drug distribution,” Waters said.

But, he said, the tip about Collett was what started the investigation, which found “a lot about illegal drug activity in the jail” through Operation Snow Globe. Seven more warrants are still out there for the raid.

Waters said that one of his administration’s main goals is to make the jail run more smoothly.

“Jails are like small versions of society as a whole.” “The same problems that affect society also show up in our jails,” Waters said. “The illegal use of drugs is no different from this truth. As the organization responsible for caring for people in the Duval County jail, they take their job very seriously.

Waters said that Operation Snow Globe also led to changes in jail security that will stop drug smuggling rings from happening again.

“There is a big building there. There are a lot of prisoners in there, but I think they were spread out a lot. How far did it spread? Wassers said, “I’m not sure.”

He also had something to say to people who want to join JSO for their own reasons.

Waters said, “If you want to come to JSO—and we welcome the brightest and best—but you want to do something illegal, don’t come here because we are going to find out.” “If you want to come here, you should do so because you want to be honest and help the people in this area.”