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Mount Olive officer accused of smuggling drugs, phones to inmates

Toby Stover

A former correctional officer is facing criminal charges after police said he smuggled drugs, phones and a knife into the Mount Olive Correctional Complex.

Toby Stover, 43, resigned from the maximum security prison last week, according to an email from Lawrence Messina, spokesman for the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

Mount Olive is responsible for West Virginia’s most risky male inmates, each convicted of severe crimes, its website states.

The allegations against Stover started in February at the earliest, according to a criminal complaint. Officers searched an inmate’s room and found a cellphone. Another inmate said Stover provided the cellphone, the complaint states.

A confidential informant said Stover also smuggled another phone, an iPhone 7, which officers later found in an inmate’s cell.

According to the complaint, one inmate accused Stover of delivering tobacco, cellphones, drugs and a knife into the facility. The informant said Stover made up to 50 deliveries at $300 per shipment.

Stover, the inmate allegedly said, used a fake company name and a post office box in Beckley to receive payments.

A surveillance camera recorded Stover in June. The video shows Stover taking an inmate’s plastic bowl, walking to a room with no cameras and then returning the bowl, according to the complaint. One week later, an inmate gave authorities two small bags of suspected methamphetamine. He said it came from Stover.

Authorities searched the facility and found a Suboxone strip, about 5 Xanax pills and a folding knife, according to the complaint. They also found several screwdriver bits.

An inmate later turned over a SIM card, which is meant for a cellphone. He told investigators that other inmates wanted knives from Stover. The inmate said he “did not want any part of anyone getting stabbed,” the complaint states.

Investigators reviewed a log of about 1,560 calls between a Mount Olive inmate and an inmate at Southwestern Regional Jail.

The inmates often referred to Stover as “Unc” in their conversations. “Hold on, Unc is here,” an inmate said during one of the phone calls.

According to the complaint, he then calls someone “lieutenant,” which was Stover’s rank. “Unc says ‘hi,’” the inmate said, returning to his phone conversation.

Amid growing accusations, Stover took off from work on June 17, the complaint states. “His big coward ass don’t even want to work,” an inmate said on the phone, according to the complaint.

Officials then placed Stover on leave during the ongoing investigation.

During a police interview, Stover listed his address as a P.O. box in Beckley. A search revealed the same address in an inmate’s room, according to the complaint. It also said, “D.H. Enterprises.”

Stover also told investigators he has a prescription for Suboxone, but he denied smuggling anything, the complaint states.

State Police arrested Stover on seven counts of aiding an adult in confinement and seven counts of bribery.

He remained at Southwestern Regional Jail in lieu of a $20,000 bail on Friday afternoon.

Reach Giuseppe Sabella at giuseppe.sabella@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5189 or follow @Gsabella on Twitter.

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