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Sewing teacher is arrested at honor farm with tobacco
mug for jail

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office made headway last week in eliminating some of the contraband that exists within the San Joaquin County Jail and Honor Farm and the smuggling efforts that get it inside.

On Thursday the Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Heidi Murphy – a program provider that teaches sewing once-a-week at the Honor Farm – for attempting to bring in a one-pound bag of pipe tobacco with the rest of her supplies.

Murphy had passed a background check prior to being allowed to teach the classes on the honor farm.

The charge levied against Murphy, who has been teaching the classes for several months, is a felony, and comes after months of deputies discovering people attempting to bring in drugs through routine visits.

And the attempt to bring contraband into the Honor Farm wasn’t the only time last week that deputies discovered contraband inside of the facility where inmates are supposed to carry a lower risk.

A random search inside of the housing unit of the Honor Farm that included the use of a drug-detection K9 revealed a class crack pipe with residue inside of it as well as two jail-made weapons – an 8.5-inch “shank” wrapped in fabric for a handle and a 4-inch “shank” made from the same materials. Both appeared to be puncture weapons and were crudely made from materials that were available inside of the facility.

“The safety and security of our facilities is our #1 priority,” the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a post announcing the discovery of the weapons. “Our Correctional Officers proudly go about their day, doing the job they signed up to do as this is part in helping keep our communities safe.

“Informing you of what takes place in our Jail is simply to give you a better idea and understanding of a correctional officers job while being behind the walls.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.