An sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Erie County Holding Center has been charged with smuggling drugs for at least one jail inmate.
Deputy Adam M. Fiegl, 32, of Orchard Park, faces three felony counts after being arrested when he reported to work Monday afternoon, Sheriff Timothy B. Howard said Tuesday.
Authorities charged Fiegl with soliciting and receiving a $200 bribe, introducing contraband into a prison and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The deputy has been accused of smuggling Suboxone, a pain medication also used to treat addiction to pain medication, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning before Buffalo City Court Judge Susan M. Eagan.
Assistant District Attorney Paul E. Bonanno asked that the judge set significant bail because “the defendant, by his conduct, demonstrated that he is not a trustworthy individual.”
Fiegl’s attorney, Thomas J. Eoannou, said his client had served two tours in Iraq while in the Army, was a member of the Military Police and also was in the National Guard.
Eagan set bail at $15,000 and ordered that Fiegl surrender any firearms that he owns or that are in his residence. Eoannou said he expected that Fiegl would post bail Tuesday. He returns to court Friday for a felony hearing, and his case is also being presented to a grand jury.
Fiegl, who was hired in 2013, has been suspended without pay pending criminal proceedings and an internal investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s Narcotics Unit and the Jail Management Division collaborated on the investigation. Investigators executed a search warrant and found about 20 Suboxone pills and a receipt indicating that he spent the $200. At a news conference with acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr., Howard said they believe that they know the source of the opiates but did not want to comment while the investigation continues.
Flaherty noted that drugs are “not an uncommon item of contraband” found in the Holding Center, with various means of entry, including through visitors and packages.
Howard said, “We haven’t forgotten the inmate in the case. We think we know who (Fiegl) acted with.”
The arrest of a deputy is disturbing, Howard added. “All of us in law enforcement feel a sense of betrayal and embarrassment,” he said.