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Phone Recordings Duped Plan To Mail Drugs Into Jail

Posted On March 31, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

(Left to right) Matthew Gabbard, Michelle Brackney, and Christopher Clift. Photos by Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department.

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A man and woman who attempted to get drugs to an inmate at the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center are now behind bars themselves.

Christopher Clift was arrested for Possession of Marijuana and Maintaining a Common Nuisance following an overdose at a motel in Greendale on February 9, according to a court affidavit. Matthew Gabbard, of Aurora, and Michelle Brackney, of Guilford, were with him at the time of the overdose, although Gabbard had left the scene before help arrived.

As he stewed in jail, the 31-year-old Clift made phone calls to Brackney and Gabbard. Dearborn County Special Crimes Unit detectives listened to recordings of those calls, in which the three allegedly conspired to smuggle Suboxone into the jail to be distributed to other inmates.

“Clift advised Gabbard that he has ‘(people) lined up.’ Gabbard, ‘I’ll hide it in the mail for sure one hundred percent by Monday,’” DCSCU detectives noted in the court document detailing their investigation.

Two letters addressed to Clift arrived at the jail on March 13, with Brackney as the return addressee. A third letter arrived a couple days later with a different return address.

The third letter contained four photographs. Suboxone films were allegedly discovered between the photo and peeled photo paper of one of those photographs. Suboxone is a brand name for buprenorphine, a controlled substance used to treat opioid dependence.

Detectives continued to monitor Clift’s jailhouse phone calls where the three continued to discuss the letters and photographs, which had been confiscated.

Gabbard and Brackney, both 27, were arrested on Monday, March 27 for Dealing in a Schedule III Controlled Substance (level 6 felony), Trafficking with an Inmate (level 5 felony), Conspiracy to Deal in a Schedule III Controlled Substance (level 6 felony), and Conspiracy to Traffic with an Inmate (level 5 felony).

Clift has been charged with Conspiracy to Deal in a Schedule III Controlled Substance (level 6 felony) and Conspiracy to Traffic with an Inmate (level 5 felony). Prosecutors have also filed an additional charge of being a habitual offender against Clift.