Nevada Correctional Officer Busted Supplying Inmates With Cellphones

Kleber Cordeiro /
Kleber Cordeiro /

A new report from KOLO-TV 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada, shines light on a rampant issue that has gone widely underreported in recent years. Correctional officer LaWayne Hardiman found himself booked into the Clark County Detention Center on some serious charges after allegedly being caught with contraband. Now facing two counts of bribery of a public official and six counts of attempting to furnish a cell phone to a state prisoner, both felonies, he brought dishonor to the badge.

James Dzurenda, Director of the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC), was quoted by KOLO as saying this was just a piece of the pie. “The arrest came as part of a statewide initiative, in cooperation with Governor Joe Lombardo’s Office, to crack down on contraband in an effort to promote the safety of officers, staff, offenders, and the community. We applaud our staff’s commitment to remaining vigilant in upholding security measures and reporting suspicious activity.”

Receiving his initial appointment to the NDOC in December 2020, he started as a correctional officer trainee. In February 2022, he resigned, but no information was available about that resignation. More strangely, he got reinstated on October 16th, 2023, and given a one-year probationary period, he failed to make the grade.

This widespread problem Dzurenda referenced has been plaguing jails and prisons for decades. With corrupt guards, easily circumvented mail procedures, and people who can get you what you want, the prison contraband market is strong. Putting a dent in this market is something Nevada has needed to do for some time. Hopefully, this is just the first of many to come.