A Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputy is facing charges following an investigation into the introduction of contraband into the detention facility.
In September 2022, the HCSO Jail Intelligence Squad launched an investigation after two THC vape pens were located on an inmate. That inmate was charged with possession of cannabis and introduction of contraband after he was observed on video surveillance in possession of the vape pens. Through investigative means, detectives then discovered an employee's involvement.
Marlon Blankenship, 32, was responsible for meeting with an outside source and providing the inmate with contraband, including THC vape pens and THC edibles. When interviewed, Blankenship denied any involvement and resigned from his position.
"This man was trusted to care for inmates and inspire a better future; instead, he abused his position and became a criminal himself," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "I want to be clear, Blankenship does not represent or reflect on the thousands of dedicated and honorable members of teamHCSO who work hard day in and day out to protect and serve every member of our community."
Charges were filed with the State Attorney's Office against Marlon Blankenship for the Introduction of Contraband into a Detention Facility and Unlawful Compensation or Reward for Official Behavior Public Servant. An arrest warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was arrested at his home in Brooksville by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Blankenship joined the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in March 2019 and was assigned to the Department of Detention Services. He resigned in January 2023 while under investigation.