LaPorte County Jail deputy arrested for jail trafficking


A LaPorte County Jail deputy has been arrested for trafficking with an inmate.

Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer says 38-year-old Heather Lari has only been working at the jail since April and was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon.

Mollenhauer says earlier in the day, jail officials learned that contraband was in a specific cell.

An immediate shakedown of the cell and block was conducted, and the suspected contraband was found.

Lari is accused of bringing the items into the jail. She's been charged with two counts of trafficking with an inmate and another count of trafficking.

She was immediately fired.

"I commend the quick reaction of jail staff to this information," said Mollenhauer. "This information was quickly corroborated and evidence and contraband was located and confiscated. The Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau and Jail Division staff worked in tandem with this investigation. Trafficking by staff will not be tolerated, and as was the case with this investigation, investigations into incidents like this will be swift and criminal charges will be pursued."

Lari was expected to be transferred to the St. Joseph County Jail for security reasons. Her bond was set at $15,000.

She's scheduled to appear in LaPorte County Circuit Court on Friday.