Rivers officer charged

Published 3:59 pm Saturday, January 16, 2010

WINTON – An officer at Rivers Correctional Center has been arrested by the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a report filed by Investigator Raymond Eure of the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office, Lorenzo Scott Benthall, 25, of Ahoskie was arrested and charged after allegedly trying to take a cell phone and other contraband into Rivers Correctional.

Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan received a call about the incident and assigned Investigator Eure to the case Thursday evening. Eure arrived at the scene and was advised by the warden and other staff members that Benthall had attempted to bring items into the prison.

Rivers officials informed Eure that Benthall’s behavior aroused the suspicion of the Entry Officer.

Benthall allegedly entered the lobby and went to the area of a drink machine before being checked in through the metal detector. After searching the area Benthall was in, officers found two envelopes. One contained five pornographic type magazines and stamps while the other contained a cellular phone.

Benthall allegedly returned to the area of the machine later, but the items had been confiscated. He was summoned to the Warden’s Office and the sheriff’s office was called.

“I’m glad we’re able to assist with getting rid of an officer who apparently did not know what his duties are,” Sheriff Vaughan said. “In my opinion, there’s no place for a dishonest officer.

“When you start bringing items into a prison, it can easily escalate to the point where everyone is in danger,” he added. “I’m thankful this was brought to a stop before it had an opportunity to escalate.”

Benthall was arrested and charged with attempting to take contraband into the prison. He was placed in the Hertford County Detention Center under a $3,000 bond and later made bail.