KC woman using wheelchair gets probation in Jackson County jail smuggling scheme

Jackson County jail searched by emergency response team

The Jackson County Detention Center’s emergency response team searched the Jackson County jail on Wednesday morning.
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The Jackson County Detention Center’s emergency response team searched the Jackson County jail on Wednesday morning.

A Kansas City woman who helped smuggle contraband into the Jackson County jail was sentenced Tuesday to four months of home confinement.

Janikkia Lashay Carter was ordered to serve the term of home confinement as part of her probation, imposed by a federal judge in Kansas City.

Federal prosecutors did not oppose probation, citing serious health problems that Carter suffers. But they argued that she should only get probation if it included home confinement as a condition.

Carter, 37, pleaded guilty in February to participating in a conspiracy to smuggle cellphones and other prohibited items into the jail.

A jail inmate, Carlos Laron Hughley, was the ring leader of the conspiracy, according to prosecutors.

In court documents, prosecutors said Hughley manipulated Carter, who had “romantic feelings” for him. He did the same with a female guard who had a child with him as he orchestrated the smuggling scheme, they said.

Hughley was sentenced to more than six years in prison. The guard also received probation.

Though she has no prior felony convictions, prosecutors said in court documents that Carter has been arrested several times and was allegedly connected to a Kansas City street gang known for committing violent crimes.

Prosecutors said that while Carter was motivated “by a form of misguided devotion and affection” for Hughley, she intentionally took part in the crime.

“She accepts responsibility for her role and is looking forward to moving forward with her life,” said Carter’s attorney, Dawn Parsons.

The fact that Carter uses a wheelchair was a “significant factor” to prosecutors in not pushing for a prison sentence.

But prosecutors said they would not be lenient again if Carter commits any more crimes.

“Reliance on the sympathy card will operate to keep you out of prison once,” prosecutors wrote in a court document. “It is not a permanent pass.”

Jackson County Executive Frank White named Diana Turner acting director of the Jackson County jail Friday after Joe Piccinini resigned.

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