JAIL SMUGGLING INVESTIGATION LEADS
TO ARREST OF NURSE
Friday, July 16, 2010— A Cook County hospital nurse will appear in bond court today after she was arrested for smuggling drugs and other contraband into the Cook County Jail, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Friday.
Kuna Winding, 33, of the 7900 block of South Marshfield Street in Chicago, is charged with four felonies – criminal conspiracy, official misconduct, bringing a controlled substance into a penal institution and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
Winding’s arrest came as a result of a months-long investigation by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office of Professional Review, the internal affairs arm of the office. Investigators there received information that the nurse had been repeatedly smuggling contraband into the jail while working for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.
Winding, a Licensed Practical Nurse, has worked at Cermak Hospital since January. Cermak is the hospital on the jail and serves the nearly 10,000 detainees housed at the jail. Because of her position, Winding had regular contact with several inmates when she brought medications from Cermak to the jail tiers.
Winding admitted to investigators that after starting at Cermak, she began regularly smuggling in contraband when she came to work. Investigators learned that she would then take the contraband – including ecstasy and marijuana - with her on medical rounds and then deliver it as she delivered prescription medications.
Winding appeared in bond court at 26th and California this afternoon. Bond was set at $400,000. Hospital system officials have notified investigators that she has been suspended without pay. The investigation into the smuggling operation is ongoing.