N.L. prison guard linked to major drug bust

A prison guard who was charged in connection with drugs being smuggled into the prison in St. John's has been ordered to stay away from people who were arrested in a major drug bust in January, according to court documents.

A prison guard charged in connection with drug smuggling into a St. John's prison has been ordered to stay away from people snared in a major drug bust in January, according to court documents.

Edward Taylor, 30, was arrested Tuesday after police said a search of his property turned up ecstasy and marijuana, and painkillers such as Percocet, OxyContin and morphine. Taylor is charged with five counts of drug trafficking, breach of trust and breach of probation.

One of the bail conditions the provincial court imposed orders Taylor to stay away from specific people, including Mary English, 19, of St. John's and Zachary Hill, 25, of Victoria.

English and Hill were arrested in mid-January during a bust when police in St. John's and British Columbia seized about $927,000 worth of cocaine and marijuana and $500,000 in cash.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the RCMP in St. John's said they also seized six vehicles as part of a four-month investigation — dubbed Operation Razorback — in which 13 people were charged with numerous offences, including drug trafficking.

Hill is still in custody at Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's where Taylor was working as a correctional officer.

The court documents don't reveal the connection between Taylor, Hill and English.

Taylor's bail conditions also forbid him from using a cellphone, BlackBerry or any other mobile communication device, which are conditions for release in many drug cases.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department in Newfoundland and Labrador released a brief statement to CBC News about Taylor's employment at the penitentiary. A spokesperson wrote in an email that the adult corrections division of the Justice Department doesn't hire people with criminal records.

The spokesperson said if an employee of the department later gets a criminal conviction, the case is assessed on an individual basis.