We recently received the probable cause affidavit that was used to arrest fifty-year-old Rhonda Hodge, who was previously a kitchen worker in the Grant County Jail.
According to the affidavit, police began investigating Hodge in January after it was found that inmates were somehow receiving tobacco inside the jail, which is prohibited. The inmate who was caught with the contraband tobacco told officers that “the kitchen lady” and inmate Thomas Flynn were involved in providing the tobacco and that the two of them were in love.
That’s when officers decided to take a look at video footage from the jail’s kitchen.
On the video, officers realized that there was an emerging pattern: Hodge would almost always interact with both Thomas Flynn and Charles White away from all other inmates. They also noticed that “severral times Mrs. Hodge and Inmate Flynn went off camera in what appeared to be the restroom while Inmate White remained at the table or in the kitchen.”
Officers also looked into Flynn’s phone records, where they found calls had been made to a phone number that was on file as belonging to Rhonda Hodge.
In the first phone call uncovered, Flynn tells Hodge that she “could run by there now,” to which she replied, “she is almost home and she will go by there soon.” Flynn says “the money is in the car,” and then he tells Hodge he loves her. Hodge responds by saying “love you, too.”
On the second call, Flynn asks Hodge “if she has ‘that’,” and Hodge says she’s “almost there.” Flynn says “thanks, hon,” and Hodge again ends the conversation by saying “love you.”
Following this information, officers decided to place a camera inside the inmate restroom. The first files captured by the camera were ruined when the officers tried transferring them, but they were able to catch useful images on the following weekend.
The files officers captured included pictures of Hodge in the restroom, alone, looking in the mirror. They also captured photos of Flynn and another inmate grabbing something from the top of the paper towel dispenser. Officers say there were flakes left on top of the dispenser, which they believed to be loose tobacco.
The inmate captured in the bathroom with Flynn, Inmate Wallace, was interviewed by police following this incident. Wallace told officers he had heard rumors about Flynn and Hodge having a romantic relationship, and he also told police that Hodge was supposed to be bringing tobacco into the jail for Flynn. Wallace said he had been aware of tobacco on his floor multiple times, and he said it always came in on the weekends, which was consistent with Hodge’s work schedule. He also admitted that there had been a bag of tobacco on top of the paper towel dispenser in the inmate restroom.
Officers then interviewed Thomas Flynn, but he denied any and all allegations that he and Hodge were having a romantic relationship. He also denied allegations that Hodge was bringing in contraband. Realizing they weren’t getting any information from Flynn, they took him back to the jail.
Charles White, the inmate who had been seen on video in the kitchen with Flynn and Hodge, was also brought in for an interview. In an attempt to get him to talk, officers told White that they were aware of the entire situation.
White admitted that he had been playing the role of “look out” while Flynn and Hodge went into the inmate restroom together, during which, White assumed, the two were having sexual contact. White also admitted that Hodge was bringing in tobacco for Flynn. When officers asked whether or not White was getting “a cut” of the contraband as payment for being a “look out,” he admitted that he was receiving a portion of the tobacco.
Officers asked White whether or not Hodge was bringing in any cell phones or drugs, but he said he was unaware of any such items being brought in.
While all of this was going on, Rhonda Hodge started calling in sick to work. Officers tried calling her several times, but she refused to answer her phone. When they finally got in touch with her, they told her they needed her to come in immediately, but she said she couldn’t meet until the next day. The officers insisted she come in immediately, so she said she would be there within an hour. However, Hodge never showed up that day.
When Hodge called out sick again the next day, officers yet again called her phone multiple times, until she finally answered. Again, they asked Hodge to come in and speak with them immediately. She said, again, she could be in within an hour. It wasn’t until later in the day that Hodge finally arrived for her interview.
Hodge was simply asked “what was going on,” and she answered by saying her “head wasn’t right,” claiming that it hadn’t been since the death of her son.
She admitted to having brought in a cell phone for Flynn, and she said she also brought in a phone for White, but said she had gotten White’s phone from another person who asked her to deliver it. She said the phone she brought in for White had something else with it. She claimed she didn’t know what was with the phone for White, because it was taped up. When she was asked whether or not it could have been drugs, she said it could have been.
When Hodge was asked whether or not she had had sexual contact with any inmates, she admitted to officers that she had performed oral sex on Flynn “a couple of times.” However, when Hodge was asked whether or not she was in love with Flynn, as she had told him over the phone, she said no.
Hodge explained to officers that there were problems within her marriage, and she said that Flynn simply gave her the attention she wasn’t getting from her husband, especially since she had moved out of their home.
It was at this point Hodge was informed that she was terminated from her job.
On April 9th, 2020, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Rhonda Hodge, and bail was set at $10,000 cash.
Hodge has been charged with Sexual Misconduct (a Level 5 Felony) and Trafficking with an Inmate (a Level 5 Felony).
She has since posted bail and is not being held in the Grant County Jail at this time.