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Fayette County Prison guard accused of smuggling pills to female inmate

Paul Peirce
| Friday, April 6, 2018, 4:24 p.m.
Michael Thomas Slater
Michael Thomas Slater

A Fayette County jail guard is accused by police with smuggling prescription pills to a female inmate last month.

Michael T. Slater, 58, of Connellsville, was charged by Uniontown Police with two felony counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and furnishing contraband to an inmate and a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance.

Police Lt. Thomas Kolencik reported in the affidavit that the investigation began March 17 after jail officials found that two female prisoners were found to have a large amount of pain pills.

Kolencik said one inmate told him in an interview that Slater brought the pills to her.

“(The inmate) said that she knows Slater from the street and he was trying to help her out. (She) said Nicholson was not compensated in any way for bringing in tobacco and the pills for her,” Kolencik wrote.

Kolencik said he and prison officials retrieved video surveillance from the jail that showed Slater working in the same area where the inmate was on a work detail on March 17.

Kolencik said prison officials also retrieved multiple recorded telephone conversations between Slater and the inmate on a jail telephone between January and March.

“During conversations, Slater and Nicholson act as a couple, saying, “I love you,” talk about holding each other, sleeping together, sexual references and Slater indicating that he will take care of her when she gets out,” Kolencik wrote.

Other recorded conversations on a prison-issued cellphone reveal Slater and the inmate discussing his making payments to the woman's attorney, police said.

An attorney for Slater is not yet listed in court documents. Neither inmate has been charged, but police said the investigation is ongoing.

Slater was arraigned before District Judge Jennifer Jeffries and ordered held in the county prison after failing to post $25,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled April 17 before Jeffries.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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