Former prison guard sentenced for making deals with gang members

ANSON COUNTY, N.C. — A prison guard is going to prison for making deals with gang members she was supposed to be overseeing.

Channel 9 reporter Glenn Counts was in the courtroom when the judge decided to give Evangeline Hunt, who used to work at Lanesboro Correctional Institute, the toughest punishment, sentencing her to a year and a half in federal prison.

[RELATED: 9 investigates assaults on Lanesboro prison staff members]

Lanesboro Correctional is one of the most dangerous prisons in North Carolina where there have been assaults, stabbings and murder, and it's generally believed that the gangs, not the guards, run the place.

Lanesboro was one of the most difficult problems that former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker dealt with when he was the chairman of the governor's crime commission.

He said corruption is rampant.

"It's an extremely difficult situation for someone who is not willing to be compromised,” Swecker said.

Reports said Hunt was introduced to a high-ranking Crips gang member by another guard.

She then took money in exchange for giving contraband, like tobacco, pot and phones to the inmates.

"Staff are there with them for long stretches of time and so you build relationships and those relationships can sometimes be exploited,” said Shannon Reid, a professor at UNC Charlotte.

Swecker doesn't see the situation turning around at Lanesboro without some major help.

"No routine effort will fix what's wrong with these types of prisons in North Carolina; there has to be a major overhaul,” Swecker said.

It will cost a lot of money to fix the problem and Swecker believes a good start would be to raise salaries and fully staff the facility.

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