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Ex-jailers' smuggling, bribery cases aired

Friday, December 7, 2012

By James R. Campbell

Nevada Daily Mail

The criminal cases of two former Vernon County jailers accused of taking bribes to smuggle marijuana and other contraband to an inmate have been continued into the New Year.

James Michael Tumm, 23, appeared in 28th Circuit Court Thursday with his lawyer, Kendall Vickers of Nevada, and heard Associate Judge Neal Quitno set a preliminary hearing for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 18.

Colby Prough, 39, of El Dorado Springs, had come to court with Nevada attorney Nick Swischer on Nov. 29, when Quitno set his pre-trial conference for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 31.

Tumm and Prough were each released on a $10,000 cash bond and were charged with the Class C felony of concealing prohibited articles on jail premises following allegations that they had accepted payments from an inmate's girlfriend; Prough, in the amount of $1,500; and Tumm, $1,000. Both Tumm and Prough have pleaded not guilty.

If convicted, they could be sentenced to up to a year in county jail or to two to seven years in state prison, variable at Circuit Judge James R. Bickel's discretion.

Prough and Tumm were fired as jailers in mid-September by Vernon County Sheriff Ron Peckman after Chief Deputy Shayne Simmons reported that inmate Bob True Beisly III's girlfriend, Joanna Roberts, had admitted bribing them to take Beisly a bank letter, a photo, a cigarette lighter and a small amount of marijuana inside a clear cigarette wrapper, in a case first brought to authorities' attention by Beisly.

Simmons wrote in his probable cause affidavit for the jailers' arrests that Tumm had "stated it was a wedding gift from Beisly.

"Tumm also admitted that he was working on the night of Sept. 8 with Jailer Prough, who Tumm knew had received an envelope from Roberts in the parking lot of the sheriff's office and that it was delivered to Beisly by Prough that night," Simmons said in a probable cause statement.

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