Editor’s Note: We have updated this article to include an accurate photo of Chelsea Simons. The previous image of Simons was sent in error by the district attorney’s office.
MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office says they are charging seven inmates after an investigation revealed they used and spread methamphetamine in the prison.
According to the DA’S office, on December 9, detectives launched an investigation after receiving information that female inmates tested positive for methamphetamine in the Monroe County Correctional Facility.
Investigators said they learned Ashley Wheelis, 33, brought methamphetamine and crack cocaine into the correctional facility and then sold it to other inmates.
Pennsylvania State Police and a K9 officer conducted a search of the female unit and all female inmates were interviewed by detectives.
During the interviews, detectives said they learned Wheelis had smuggled 7 grams of methamphetamine and 7 grams of crack cocaine into the facility in her vagina.
Wheelis was arrested by Monroe County Probation after appearing to meet her probation officer and testing positive for controlled substances.
As stated in the affidavit, once Wheelis successfully smuggled the drugs into the facility and was placed in the female unit, she then began distributing them to other female inmates.
Corrections Officers (COs) stated they were told by Olivia Rivera, 36, that she had a small baggie of drugs in her cell.
The COs then began performing urine drug screens on inmates and did a thorough search of the unit. A small baggie containing a white powdery substance was recovered, police say.
According to court documents, all of the women charged tested positive for methamphetamine and, all of them had been incarcerated for a lengthy period of time, indicating that they acquired drugs and used them while incarcerated.
Police state the investigation led to the arrests of the following individuals:
- Ashley Wheelis, 33
- Olivia Rivera, 36
- Kimberly Grzech, 50
- Chelsea Simons, 29
- Brittany Akers, 29
- Jolene Gambardella, 41
- Amanda Petrizzo, 37
Wheelis and Rivera have both been charged with possessing contraband in the prison and distributing contraband within the prison.
Grzech, Simons, Akers, Gambardella, and Petrizzo are all charged with possession of controlled substance contraband by an inmate.