Prison worker among 5 accused in scheme to deliver marijuana

PORTAGE — An employee at a Portage prison is one of five people accused in a plan to deliver marijuana inside the facility.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that 44-year-old Steven Payne, of Baraboo, was working as a maintenance worker at the Columbia Correctional Institution when he allegedly worked with an inmate to bring pot into the prison.

Payne is charged with conspiracy to deliver marijuana, along with 34-year-old Rory Kuenzi and his 55-year-old father, Douglas Kuenzi, of Weyauwega; 19-year-old Aaliyah Brooks, of Elroy; and 19-year-old Mahkinzie Johnson, of Elroy.

Authorities say Payne talked about the idea for about two months with inmate Rory Kuenzi, who was sentenced in 2011 to 23 years in prison for drunken driving and vehicular homicide from an incident in Waupaca County in 2004.