June 10, 2023

An employee of the Jackson County Detention Center, along with three associates of an inmate detained at the center, have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a conspiracy to smuggle papers laced with K2 to jail inmates.

Aaron D. Copes, 42, of Grandview, Mo., Deanna K. Clark, also known as “Nina,” 32, and Stephanie McDaniel, 31, both of Kansas City, Mo., and James A. Booker, Jr., 37, of Raytown, Mo., were charged in a single-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on May 31, 2023. That indictment has been unsealed and made public following the arrests of Copes, Clark, and Booker this week.

Copes was employed as a case manager at the Jackson County Detention Center. His duties included interviewing inmates daily, providing counseling and mediation for inmates, and providing training to correctional officers. Clark and Booker were close associates of an inmate at the Jackson County Detention Center, who is identified in court documents as unindicted co-conspirator CC1. McDaniel was the girlfriend of CC1. The indictment also refers to another inmate, identified as unindicted co-conspirator CC2.

Copes, Clark, Booker, and McDaniel are charged with participating in a conspiracy from March 2020 to October 2021 to smuggle contraband into the Jackson County Detention Center.

Copes allegedly took bribe money and sexual favors in exchange for smuggling contraband into the Jackson County Detention Center and delivering it to inmates, including CC1 and CC2. Conspirators allegedly smuggled in K2, a controlled substance, which was soaked onto sheets of paper that were smoked by inmates.

The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by the FBI and the Jackson County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.