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Bradford drug unit arrests deputy correctional officer

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The Bradford County Sheriff’s Office said it arrested one of its own employees Thursday morning.

Caron Hayes, 35, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The charges against Hayes are not proven and she is presumed innocent until adjudicated guilty by a court.

Capt. Brad Smith said the sheriff’s office received a tip that Hayes might be involved in illegal activity. The drug unit started an investigation to determine whether she had kept marijuana in her home.

Smith said Hayes admitted to possessing and using the drug. She was booked into the Bradford County jail but will be transferred to another facility for her own protection.

Hayes was first hired by the sheriff’s office in 1999. She resigned in 2006 and was rehired in 2007.

Hayes was fired today and Smith said the sheriff’s office will notify the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission about the arrest. The commission certifies criminal justice officers throughout the state.

Sheriff Gordon Smith said, “As difficult as it is to arrest and fire one of our own, we will not tolerate nor do we condone anyone in this organization breaking the law. We hold ourselves to a higher standard and faced this investigation head-on. I don’t care who the investigation involves, we will pursue these cases in our continued effort to combat illegal drugs.”

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