South Carolina

Sex with inmate, explicit photos among charges against 3 SC prison guards

Three South Carolina correctional officers have been arrested on various charges, including having sex with an inmate and bringing in contraband, according to a statement from the S.C. Department of Corrections.

Tiffany Rochelle Chandler-Starks, a former guard at Perry Correctional Institution; Cheryl Huggins, a former guard at Evans Correctional Institution; and Lester Charles Smith, II, a former guard at Ridgeland Correctional Institution, were arrested in three separate cases.

Chandler-Starks is facing charges of misconduct in office after investigators say she was sending sexual photos and videos to inmates at Perry CI while employed as a correctional officer there, according to her arrest warrant. Perry is a maximum security facility located in Pelzer.

Huggins was charged with both misconduct in office and first degree sexual misconduct with an inmate of a correctional facility, according to the statement.

According to her arrest warrant, Huggins kissed an inmate under her care at Evans CI and had sexual intercourse with him in a prison dorm. Over the course of two months, Huggins also allegedly sent texts and pictures of herself to that inmate as well.

Evans CI, a medium security prison, is located in Bennettsville.

Smith faces charges of finishing or attempting to furnish a prisoner with contraband and misconduct in office, according to the statement.

While working at Ridgeland CI, Smith tried to bring four large sealed packages of tobacco into the prison, according to his arrest warrant. He hid the more than 700 grams of tobacco under the seat of his car.

Ridgeland CI is a medium security prison located in Ridgeland.

Emily Bohatch is a breaking news reporter for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.