A corrections officer at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater in Bayport was recently arrested for arranging to bring an inmate a half-pound of drugs.
Faith Rose Gratz, 24, of St. Paul was charged with first-degree possession and sale of methamphetamine after her on-site arrest last Friday, April 8.
According to a criminal complaint, prison investigators confiscated a cellphone from an inmate who had received it from Gratz. They found on the phone “several drug-related messages” in which the two discussed a plan for Gratz to pick up a half-pound of methamphetamine and bring it to the inmate. The text messages referred to the drug as “M’s.”
On April 8, Bayport police officers executed a search warrant on Gratz’s vehicle right after she arrived for her scheduled shift at 5:30 a.m. The officers found a plastic bag of drugs under one of the vehicle’s rear seats; it tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed roughly a half-pound, specifically 233.4 grams.
Gratz admitted to bringing six packages to the inmate over the past four months, according to the complaint. She told police that “she did not know what was in the packages initially but admitted later learning they contained narcotics.”
Jail records show that Gratz was booked into the Washington County Jail around 9 a.m. on April 8. Conditional release was set at $75,000 and her first court appearance is scheduled for May 11.
A source told Alpha News that assaults are up in the Stillwater prison and drugs could be playing a role.
Oak Park Heights, Minnesota’s most secure prison, has experienced at least two violent attacks between inmates in recent weeks, Alpha News learned.
“Our staff do incredible work to maintain safe and secure prisons to allow people to focus on transforming their lives,” a Department of Corrections spokesperson previously told Alpha News. “But sadly fights and physical altercations that cause injuries do occur … We take this conduct seriously and will investigate the incident to ensure the person responsible is held appropriately accountable.”