Three Horry Co. jail employees fired for alleged cocaine use seen in Snapchat video
HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Three employees with the J. Reuben Long Detention Center were terminated from their positions after a Snapchat video surfaced allegedly showing them using cocaine, records stated.
According to separation documents from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, Katlyn Fairchild, Laine Jordan and Robert McGowan III were all jail employees and students at the academy.
On April 26, a student in the academy’s Basic Law Enforcement class told an instructor that he had received a Snapchat video from Fairchild on the evening of April 23.
In that video, Fairchild, Jordan and McGowan were seen in a vehicle with a bag of white powder, according to information from the SCCJA.
“The BLE student reported to the instructor that Officer Fairchild stated the powder was cocaine and that they all had used it, including herself,” a separation form stated.
According to official documents, Fairchild was not at the academy on April 26 due to being pulled from the program following an arrest that occurred on April 24.
A report from the Horry County Police Department states a witness left home at 6:30 a.m. on April 24 and saw Fairchild’s car sitting at the end of Linda Drive in the Conway.
When he came back about 90 minutes later, the witness said the car was still there and when he approached it, he saw Fairchild unresponsive inside, according to law enforcement.
The man called 911 and when medics arrived, they found Fairchild in the driver’s seat still wearing a seatbelt, the police report stated. An open bottle of liquor was said to be in the center console.
An officer who spoke with Fairchild said her eyes were glassy and he could smell alcohol on her breath, the report stated. The officer also reported he saw her Horry County Sheriff’s Office uniforms laying in the back passenger seat.
According to the report, Fairchild said the open bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 was from “last weekend.” The officer allegedly found another unopened can of the liquor in a bag on the passenger seat, three unopened cans of Twisted Tea in the back passenger floor and an iPad marked “property of SCCJA,” law enforcement said.
Online records from J. Reuben Long state Fairchild was charged with public intoxication and violation of ABC law.
According to SCCJA documents, Fairchild stated during an interview in the Office of Professional Standards that she did not use cocaine that was seen in the Snapchat video, but did admit there was cocaine in the car with them and the other officers used it.
She also denied sending the Snapchat video, the documents stated.
“The information she denied has been corroborated by the witnesses in this case, and supports that Officer Fairchild also engaged in the misconduct of Willfully making a false, misleading, incomplete, deceitful, or incorrect statement(s) to a law enforcement officer, a law enforcement agency, or a representative of the agency,” records state.
SCCJA investigators stated Jordan’s written statement he produced during his interview was vague and he could not recall if he used cocaine during the evening hours of April 23 due to his “state at the time.”
“He also wrote that he woke up the following morning and was informed that he had used cocaine. When asked by the instructor where he got the cocaine from, Officer Jordan answered he didn’t recall using it due to his alcohol consumption,” SCCJA documents state.
During his interview with the Office of Professional Standards, Jordan reportedly admitted to taking cocaine and saying who he was in the presence with at the time he took it, according to official records.
He was dismissed from the academy and terminated from the JRLDC for unlawful use of a controlled substance and willfully providing false, misleading, incomplete, deceitful or incorrect information on a report.
In his written statement, McGowan confessed to using cocaine and being with two other JRLDC officers, both of whom also took the drug, the separation documents state.
“He also admitted that he had viewed the Snapchat post with the video of them all in the car with the cocaine, and that Snapchat post was created and posted by Katlyn Fairchild,” SCCJA’s report stated.
McGowan was terminated for unlawful use of a controlled substance.
According to records, the date of separation for each was April 26. Criminal charges were not filed against the three for the April 23 incident.
Horry County spokesperson Kelly Moore said the county does not comment on personnel matters.
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