JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — A correctional officer at the Jackson Correctional Institution has been arrested after being accused of exchanging love letters with an inmate at her job.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections’ (FDC) Office of the Inspector General (OIG), correctional officer Ebony Cotton was arrested on Dec. 5.
According to an probable cause affidavit, the OIG received information from the Jackson Correctional Institution that Cotton was communicating with an inmate via unauthorized handwritten letters.
On Nov. 22, the report says a sergeant was given a hand written note that was found in the control room. The sergeant was able to identify the author of the note an an inmate who was assigned to the B-Dormitory.
In the note, the inmate outlined he was a "ex-drug dealer/ex-killer/Dedicated lover/Ebony Lover." Correctional officer Ebony Cotton worked in the B-Dormitory the inmate was assigned to.
When investigators searched the inmate's property, the affidavit says they found six letters addressed to "Chocolate Drop" from a "Black Diamond."
In the letters, documents say the pair discussed a variety of subjects in a romantic manner. In one letter, the author addressed the letter, "Hey, Chocolate Drop."
The author, who investigators believe was Officer Cotton, wrote "I really like you. Maybe it was your smile, maybe it was your personality, or maybe it was just you. Anyway, just know whatever it actually was hooked me." The write signed the letter, "love, Black Diamond."
When investigators compared the handwriting in the letter to Officer Cotton's handwriting, they found that the handwriting "was consistent and had several handwriting exemplars throughout the letters."
Investigators spoke to the inmate in question a few days later, who said that he began talking to Officer Cotton in August 2019. He said that he wrote her several letters and gave them to her while she was working in his dormitory.
Eventually, the inmate says Officer Cotton began writing him back and the two exchanged several letters.
He told investigators that the letters in his property were given to him by Officer Cotton. The inmate said he and Officer Cotton "were in the early stages of a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship and he is in love with Officer Cotton."
Based on the evidence, Officer Cotton was arrested on Dec. 5 on multiple counts of introduction/removal of contraband, communication.