For the first time, a former Tennessee correctional officer went before a judge Tuesday.
The Channel 4 I-Team first exposed Kevin Simmons, who was caught in a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation sting allegedly trying to smuggle contraband into Riverbend Prison.
Tuesday was the first time we came face-to-face with Simmons, but it's not the first time we've heard his voice.
Simmons is now charged with felony official misconduct after the Channel 4 I-Team gathered cell phone conversations, texts and other documentation that appear to reveal how cell phones were being smuggled into the state's most secure prison.
When we presented our findings to the state, the TBI set up a sting at a motel and agents say Simmons took thousands in cash in exchange for delivering a cell phone and other contraband into the prison.
"Do you want to say anything about what happened in that motel room?" asked Channel 4 I-Team chief investigator Jeremy Finley.
"Nope," Simmons said.
And as for the recorded phone conversation about smuggling contraband to inmate David Faulkner, Simmons didn't have anything to say.
"I'm not answering no questions. I told you that already," Simmons said.
But he continued.
"The world sees a lot of things in what appears to be and what not appears to be. Your assumption is one assumption, and the world's assumption is the world's assumption. My assumption is different," Simmons said.
Simmons said he will talk to us after his case is over.
"I'm 13 years military. I'm a man of my word. So I will contact you after this is over with, because we have a lot to talk about. Trust me," he said.
"Is there widespread corruption in that prison?" Finley asked.
"I'm not going to answer any more questions," Simmons said.
Simmons was appointed a public defender at Tuesday's court appearance because he says he is now out of a job.
Also on Tuesday, the state swept through six prisons looking for contraband. They arrested a delivery truck driver who they say tried to deliver cell phones, cigarettes and alcohol to a Memphis prison.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Ex-correctional officer accused in TBI sting appears in courtMore>>