A former Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) corrections deputy from Blaine was sentenced September 28 to one month in jail for smuggling items into the jail for a female inmate.
Christopher Frederic Baetz, 42, pleaded guilty last week in Whatcom County Superior Court to introducing contraband in the second degree and was sentenced to one month in jail, according to court documents. Baetz will serve his sentence on electronic home monitoring through Friendship Diversion Services.
WCSO spokesperson Deb Slater said in an email to The Northern Light that Baetz was placed on administrative leave following his arrest February 8. He resigned April 20 before the completion of an administrative investigation. Slater said the findings of the completed investigation determined that discipline was warranted and would have resulted in the termination of Baetz employment as a corrections deputy.
Baetz had worked for the sheriff’s office since 2006.
On February 7, an inmate at the minimum-security Whatcom County Work Center handed a letter to another corrections deputy relating to concerns about a female inmate having a cell phone for months, according to the affidavit of probable cause (APC). Deputies searched the three-person unit where the female inmate was incarcerated. Upon strip-searching the woman, deputies found a bag of prescription and nonprescription medications and a cell phone.
Deputies also found a vape pen, a number of phone chargers, an electronic cigarette pen, two Velcro sticky pads, one electronic cigarette pouch, a bottle of e-juice, two individually packaged marijuana gummies and a pair of headphones, according to the APC.
On February 8, upon further investigation and questioning of the inmate, sheriff’s office detectives found out that Baetz and the inmate had been in contact – through letters and then text and phone calls – for about three months, and that Baetz had provided her with the contraband.
Baetz was arrested upon arriving to work.