Lake County Jail, Crown Point, Indiana (Photo credit: OZinOH via Flickr)
Lake County Jail, Crown Point, Indiana (Photo credit: OZinOH via Flickr)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before; a criminal on probation has a gun…

Yeah, yeah – we hear it all the time. But how many times have you heard of one making it into a jail with a gun?

The Lake County Jail in Crown Point Indiana has added two additional checkpoints for officers to search inmates prior to booking them into their facilities. The added measures are the result of an incident in which a correctional officer, during a routine check at the jail, spotted the handle of the gun on an inmate.

Eric R. McClinton III, 20, pleaded guilty to being a prisoner in possession of a deadly weapon, a Level 4 felony. Lake County Criminal Judge Salvador Vasquez on May 18 sentenced McClinton to two years in prison, which was the maximum amount of time he could have faced under the terms of the plea agreement.

McClinton admitted that on Dec. 10, 2015, he was arrested after refusing to identify himself to an officer during a traffic stop.

He was placed into a holding cell at Lake County Jail following a medical examination. According to the agreement, McClinton placed his .38-special revolver into a toilet and used toilet paper to conceal it.

McClinton had also been accused of bringing in cocaine to the jail, but charges associated with that allegation were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

According to court records, Vasquez determined that McClinton’s criminal history was an aggravating factor that warranted the two-year prison sentence. He was on probation in a Gary City Court case when the arrest happened.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich called the incident “human error”, but this is just pure incompetence. The fact that an inmate was allowed into a county jail with a gun is insane. From arrest, to holding cell, to booking – there is no reason McClinton should have been in possession of a .38-special to be found by a correctional officer he could have very well shot.

Thankfully, McClinton didn’t use the revolver in an attempt to escape and he’ll be tucked away behind a set of prison doors for the next few years.