April 6, 2017
Sergeant Tnishia Antoine, 35 years old of Blakeslee, was arrested today at the Monroe County Correctional Facility which triggered a complete lockdown and full search of the prison utilizing drug sniffing dogs from Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department, Scranton Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police.
The investigation, led by Monroe County District Attorney detective Kim Lippincott resulted in the arrest of Antoine and her husband, Ronald Brnadon, 36 years old, also from Blakeslee.
Today’s incident began when an MCCF employee discovered a bag of heroin lying on the floor in the correctional facility’s lobby. A review of surveillance footage revealed that the bag of heroin was dropped by Antoine as she entered the facility.
The Warden of the facility immediately contacted the Monroe County Drug Task Force requesting assistance. Detectives from the District Attorney’s Office responded to the facility, took possession of the heroin and reviewed the video footage. Antoine was taken into custody, advised of her Miranda Rights and agreed to be interviewed. A search of her person uncovered heroin that she had concealed in her bra.
Because Antoine was working within the prison when taken into custody, the Warden and MCDA detectives activated a facility lockdown and requested the assistance of PMRPD Corporal Matt Nero and his canine partner, Niko. Corporal Nero led the search effort with the assistance of five additional police canine units. The entire facility was searched, no additional contraband was discovered.
Antoine's vehicle, parked in the facility lot, was searched and additional bags of heroin were recovered next to a large sum of U.S. currency. The packaging of the heroin was consistent with the sale and/or distribution of heroin. Antoine was charged with possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, heroin, which is a second degree felony due to the fact that it was brought into the prison. She was also charged with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Antoine was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge JoLana Krawitz. Bail was set at $20,000.00 secured. Antoine was transported to the Northampton County Correctional Facility by deputies from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.
Further investigation resulted in obtaining a search warrant for Antoine's residence. Upon execution of the warrant, Antoine's husband, Ronald Brandon, was found in the residence along with their 18 month old child. A search of the residence yielded in excess of fifty (50) bags of heroin, a digital scale, packaging material and drug paraphernalia.
Monroe County Children & Youth Services took custody of the child and Brandon was taken into custody and charged with possession with the intent to deliver heroin, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal use of a communications facility, possession of heroin, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Brandon was temporarily committed at the Monroe County Correctional Facility pending arraignment and setting of bail.
Agencies involved in this investigation included members of the Monroe County Correctional Facility, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Pocono Mountain Regional Police, Pennsylvania State Police, Monroe County Children & Youth, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, members of the Monroe County Drug Task Force, and with assistance from the Scranton Police Department Canine Unit.