Prosecutor: Clerk tipped drug dealers to search warrants
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A Clerk of Courts employee sold information in sealed search warrants to a drug dealer who then passed the information along to others, according to an indictment filed Thursday.
Yakyma Boyd, 45, was indicted on charges of tampering with records, bribery, obstructing justice, theft in office and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Ernest Bryant was indicted on the same charges as well as trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine and having weapons under disability. He was described as a major drug offender in the indictment.
"It is a violation of the public trust," said Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval. "There is simply no place for corruption in the courthouse. It must be routed out and ended."
Pureval said Thursday that Boyd has been fired. She worked at the Clerk of Courts office for 22 years.
Members of the Regional Narcotics Unit became suspicious when they executed search warrants and didn't find any drugs.
"Then you have the other side of this that actually puts people in danger all the way up to people losing their lives over this including police officers," said Mark Schoonover, Chief Deputy of the Hamilton Co. Sheriff's Office.
Prosecutor Joe Deters said this was not the first time that this has happened. Deters said Boyd had been doing this for some time but he didn't know how long. He claimed Boyd was getting as much as $1,000 per warrant.
"I don't think she realizes the significance of what she has done and people who've been in my office longer than I have are just stunned by these revelations," said Deters.
Pureval said his office is enacting reforms to keep this from happening again. From now on, search warrant affidavits signed by a judge will be kept in a secure location so the information cannot be accessed. Employees will undergo background checks every four years and will go though ethics training annually.
Boyd's attorney maintains she's innocent of the charges.
"My communication with Ms. Boyd indicate she is not guilty of any of these charges. She's not admitting to doing anything wrong," said defense attorney Clyde Bennett.
If convicted of all charges, Boyd faces 21 years in prison. Bryant faces 43 years in prison