KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Jackson County Detention Center employee, hired to help inmates, instead faces charges related to drug smuggling.

Three other people have also been indicted in the scheme.

Federal court documents show Aaron D. Copes, 42, of Grandview, Mo. worked as a case manager at the Jackson County Detention Center. His job was to interview inmates and provide them counseling and mediation.

The documents show Copes allegedly took bribe money and sexual favors from three other suspects in exchange for smuggling drugs into the detention center.

The three other suspects are Deanna K. Clark, 32, and Stephanie McDaniel, 31, both of Kansas City, and James A. Booker, Jr., 37, of Raytown.

Clark and Booker knew an inmate inside the jail, according to court documents. McDaniel allegedly dated the same inmate.

All four suspects are charged with participating in a drug smuggling conspiracy.

Federal prosecutors said Clark, McDaniel, and Booker gave papers laced with K2 to Copes. Copes is accused of taking the papers inside the jail and delivering them to two inmates.

Inmates inside the jail then smoked the drug-laced paper.

Prosecutors said the drug smuggling conspiracy took place for over a year, from March 2020 to October 2021.

Jackson County Sheriff Darryl Forte tweeted the following statement following the indictment.

“The indictment of one employee at the JCDC is not a reflection of the majority of our caring and dedicated staff. I’m proud of our professional team,” Forte said.