HOLLIDAYSBURG - A former Blair County Prison guard is behind bars on charges he supplied inmates with pills and tobacco in exchange for drugs.
The scheme came to light after an inmate overdosed on pills March 15, according to court records.
John F. Mutsko II, 37, of 216 Mountain Road, Lilly, was arrested late Friday after an investigation by Hollidaysburg police allegedly showed Mutsko brought Soma muscle relaxers, as well as other pills such as Klonopin and Percocet, into the prison three times between February and March 15, according to police.
Court records detail how the alleged scheme unraveled after an inmate overdosed after taking 13 Soma pills and collapsing in the showers. After the inmate gained consciousness in the hospital, he began to talk and fingered Mutsko as the source, police note in an affidavit of probable cause.
Police ultimately questioned the inmate's girlfriend, as well as two other prisoners, who told police that Mutsko was addicted to opiates and received painkillers and Suboxone for smuggling drugs, tobacco and rolling papers for inmates, documents state. The mother of one inmate told investigators she supplied Mutsko with smoking tobacco to take into the jail, according to police.
The Soma pills were prescribed to the inmate who overdosed. After he would phone the prescription in to the pharmacy from the jail, his girlfriend would pick it up and give the pills to Mutsko, according to police.
On one occasion, in early February, two inmates intentionally clogged a toilet in order to flood their cell and give Mutsko an excuse to visit their cell block, police said.
Police indicated the pills ultimately made their way into the hands of at least seven prisoners.
After the overdose on March 15, an inmate approached Mutsko to ask about a package of chewing tobacco still owed, police said.
"Right now, it's hot," Mutsko allegedly told the inmate. "Wait till things cool down, and we'll be back in business."
The charges depict Mutsko as being confident he
wouldn't get caught as when he allegedly told the inmate in the same conversation that, "There's nothing they can do to me; they
didn't catch me with anything.
"I'm smart enough I can get out of this one like other cases I had," Mutsko allegedly added.
Warden Michael Johnston confirmed Tuesday that Mutsko has been terminated from the jail but declined to comment further, deferring to the Hollidaysburg police.
Mutsko is charged with three counts of felony furnishing a convict with contraband and three counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, as well as three counts of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.
He was arraigned late Friday by Magisterial District Judge Paula Aigner and lodged in Blair County Prison in lieu of $100,00 cash bail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday before Judge Aigner.