PLAINFIELD — Indiana Department of Corrections officers had to arrest one of their own this week.
Travis Paul Wilbur of Indianapolis was arrested early Wednesday by correctional officers Richard Gaskin and Frank Vanihel. According to a press release, Wilbur was attempting to bring suspected narcotics into the facility.
”The items were discovered in his lunch box, hidden in black electrical tape inside what appeared to be Taco Bell food wrappers,” according to the release.
Gaskin and Vanihel questioned Wilbur and then transported him to the Hendricks County Jail in Danville.
Phil L. Slavens is the assistant superintendent of re-entry at the Plainfield Correctional Facility. He explained that the DOC has officers at each facility with added training and normal arresting powers.
”These two officers are normally part of our investigative staff,” Slavens said. “They are here and ready to make an arrest, if needed.”
The specially trained offers are called “correctional peace officers,” he explained.
In the past, the correctional facility could only detain a suspect and hold them until officers from the Indiana State Police or the Plainfield Police Department could assist.
”These officers are phenomenal,” Slavens said of Gaskin and Vanihel. “They are some of the best in the state and do a really, really good job.”
He said the arrest was upsetting, but that he was proud of how the staff handled the situation.
”It’s always disappointing to see a staff go down that road, but it is gratifying to the rest of the staff to get a guy who is not on our team out of here,” Slavens said. “This is really a close knit staff.”
Wilbur had been employed at the facility since March 28, 2011.
Gaskin and Vanihel acted on reports that Wilbur had been trafficking with offenders at the facility. The items confiscated tested positive for marijuana and suboxone, a schedule three narcotic.
Wilbur has been initially charged with possession of marijuana, a class C felony, and dealing in a schedule one, two, or three controlled substance, a class B felony.