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WTRJ employee arrested, charged with allegedly smuggling drugs into jail

A now-former employee of the Western Tidewater Regional Jail has been arrested and charged with allegedly trying to smuggle more than 400 grams of marijuana into the facility.

Christopher Ryan Broadway, 43, of Chesapeake, reported for work July 9, according to a criminal complaint filed in Suffolk General District Court, and a pre-work search in the secured part of the jail before the start of his shift found 433.6 grams of marijuana, packaged in four heat-shrink bags containing 831 individually-packaged baggies for distribution.

That search also found three suspected marijuana vapor bottles and 10 suspected Buprenorphine strips, also known as suboxone, the complaint states. The suspected marijuana was field-tested using a state Department of Forensic Science-approved test kit, with the results showing positive for the presence of marijuana.

Broadway had been employed at the jail for about seven months, according to Western Tidewater Regional Jail Superintendent William C. Smith, before his July 13 arrest. He is currently free on bail.

“Mr. Broadway has been terminated from the Western Tidewater Regional Jail,” Smith said.

Broadway faces four felony charges — two charges of willfully attempting to smuggle marijuana to a prisoner, one charge of selling, giving or distributing more than one ounce, but less than five pounds of marijuana, and one charge of selling, giving or distributing a Schedule I or II controlled substance.

An arraignment hearing scheduled for July 21 in Suffolk General District Court has been continued until Oct. 19. Suffolk Police Department is currently handling the investigation.