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3 Western Pa. state prison employees accused in drug smuggling cases |

3 Western Pa. state prison employees accused in drug smuggling cases

Paul Peirce

Three prison staff members, including a guard at SCI Somerset, are charged in unrelated drug smuggling cases, the state Department of Corrections said Wednesday.

“When we closed off the mail as a major avenue for drugs getting into prisons, we knew there would be pressure on other avenues for contraband introduction, and that includes staff,” Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said in a news release. “We have a zero-tolerance policy on contraband in our facilities, whether it is introduced by visitors, staff or other means, and violators will be prosecuted.”

Among those arrested include Stephen R. Palermini, 46, of Hollsopple, a guard at the Somerset Township lockup. Undercover state police charged Palermini on March 1 with attempting to introduce contraband into the facility.

Palermini was arraigned before Confluence District Judge Sandra Stevanus and released on $100,000 unsecured bond. He is suspended without pay pending the resolution of the case.

Also arrested were Rick A. Davis, 36, of Phillipsburg, who is a corrections food service instructor at SCI Houtzdale in Clearfield County. Davis was arrested by state police March 2 for allegedly attempting to introduce contraband into the facility, manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, delivery of a controlled substance to an inmate and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to court dockets, Davis is being held in the Clearfield County Jail after failing to post $100,000 bail. He is also suspended without pay.

Skyler R. Galgon, 35, a corrections officer at SCI Cambridge Springs in Crawford County, was arrested Jan. 28 for attempting to introduce contraband into the facility, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Galgon, who lives in Benton, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday and will stand trial in common pleas Court. He remains free on unsecured bond and has been suspended without pay.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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