Trial delayed for ex-prison officer in drug case

Christopher R. Flippo is accused of trying to smuggle drugs to an inmate at the penitentiary.

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WALLA WALLA -- A local man accused of intending to smuggle marijuana to a prisoner while working as a Washington State Penitentiary correctional officer now is scheduled to stand trial next summer.

The proceedings for Christopher R. Flippo, 25, of 1835 Amelia St., initially were set to begin in Walla Walla County Superior Court this Thursday, but have been postponed to Aug. 6 and 7.

Flippo has pleaded innocent to charges of possessing marijuana with intent to deliver it, possessing it in a correctional institution and second-degree attempted introduction of contraband.

Officials reportedly found the marijuana in his vehicle in the parking lot of the institution May 2. They also seized $200 from the driver's door compartment, according to a police report filed in court.

Flippo -- who has since resigned his position -- allegedly told a prison investigator he had intended to take the pot into the institution. Flippo also told police he had been giving tobacco and marijuana to an inmate since about October of 2010, according to officials.

"Flippo said he received $500 for introduction of tobacco and $800 for introduction of marijuana," the police report says. "He said the money is sent to him from a female in Maryland. Once he receives the money he makes the drops."

The $200 in the car reportedly was left over from $800 he received.

Flippo allegedly told police that when he delivered the marijuana, he would walk to his car during a break, put the substance in his pocket and walk back into the prison where he would give it to the inmate or put it in the inmate's cell.

Flippo is not in custody pending the outcome of his case.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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