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Former pharmacist convicted of murder caught with contraband in prison, officials say

Convicted murderer Jerome Jay Ersland was caught with contraband — a powerful pain reliever — in prison, corrections officials report. Ersland is the former pharmacist who is serving a life sentence for fatally shooting a wounded robber.
by Nolan Clay Published: November 30, 2012

Convicted murderer Jerome Jay Ersland was caught Sunday evening with contraband — a powerful pain reliever — after his son visited him in prison, corrections officials said.

The former pharmacist is serving a life sentence for fatally shooting a wounded, unarmed robber inside the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City in 2009. He is 61.

He is being held at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington. He was caught Sunday with two Fentanyl patches in a pants pocket, corrections officials reported.

His son, Jeff Ersland, admitted bringing in the patches, corrections officials also reported.

Jeff Ersland did not return phone calls for comment. Corrections officials are still investigating the incident. They are expected to send a report on the investigation to prosecutors who will decide whether to file a criminal charge against Jeff Ersland.

“I ... was about to escort offender Ersland, Jerome ... from the visiting room to the Mental Health unit,” Cpl. Link Logan wrote in an incident report. “I saw offender Ersland pick something up off a table and put it in his left front pocket. I asked offender Ersland what he put in his pocket and he said a candy bar.

“I had offender Ersland show me what was in his pocket and he gave me two transparent transdermal Fentanyl patches.”

The corporal reported he took the patches to the prison's medical area and was told there that “they were stronger than morphine.”

Son admits role

In a memo about the incident, Warden Michael K. Addison wrote that Jerome Ersland claimed he found the patches on a table.

The warden wrote he had a unit manager call the son, who “denied bringing anything in to his father.”

Jeff Ersland later “called back and admitted to staff he had brought in the patches,” the warden wrote. “He stated his father ... was experiencing some shoulder pain.”

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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