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Ithaca woman arrested after prison contraband investigation

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A woman has been arrested and charged with promoting prison contraband after attempting to bring restricted items into the Tompkins County jail during a visitation with an inmate, according to the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.

On February 18, 2023, at around 1:28 p.m., deputies and investigators were alerted by corrections officers that a female, identified as Sarah A. Murphy-Sears, age 34 of Ithaca, NY, was caught bringing prison contraband into the jail. The items, which were turned over by corrections officers, included marijuana, tobacco, matches, rolling papers, and six Gabapentin pills, all wrapped up inside of a condom.


Murphy-Sears was subsequently arrested and charged with promoting prison contraband, a Class A misdemeanor. She was released on an appearance ticket and ordered to return to the Town of Lansing Court at a later date.

The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office is reminding the public that bringing contraband into a correctional facility is illegal and can result in serious consequences. The office also stated that it will continue to work closely with corrections officers to ensure the safety and security of the jail and its inmates.

It is unclear if Murphy-Sears has legal representation at this time. The investigation is ongoing.