MIchael Lipsitz

Michael Lipsitz

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 02/06/15, 12:01 AM PST | Updated: 55 secs ago

A county supervisor’s former field representative accused of smuggling drugs into the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center in Devore for an inmate he visited regularly professed his innocence Friday.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said investigators will submit their case against 53-year-old Michael Lipsitz to the District Attorney’s Office for review and consideration of criminal charges, but it was unclear when that was expected.

Lipsitz, who worked for Supervisor James Ramos, remains free on bail. He continues to deny the allegations and said in a telephone interview Friday he had been making telephone calls throughout the day to various attorneys seeking representation.

“I didn’t have any drugs on me or in my vehicle,” Lipsitz said.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Lipsitz about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center on suspicion of smuggling narcotics into the jail and providing them to 25-year-old inmate Joshua Rhodes, a volunteer firefighter at the jail’s fire camp,

Deputies at the jail previously received a tip that drugs were being smuggled into the jail, and an investigation was launched. Deputies learned Lipsitz was a frequent visitor of Rhodes and determined he was smuggling drugs into the jail and providing them to Rhodes at the fire camp, according to a sheriff’s news release.

Lipsitz, who lives in Landers, didn’t deny he was a frequent visitor of Rhodes, whom he said he has known about five years. But he continues to deny he provided drugs to Rhodes at the jail.

At the time of his arrest, Lipsitz said a deputy approached him holding a plastic baggie.

“They showed me a bag with a couple of things in it. It looked like chewing tobacco spit,” Lipsitz said. “The only drugs I saw, they were holding.”

Bachman would not say Friday if Lipsitz is suspected of smuggling drugs into the jail on more than one occasion or what drugs Lipsitz is suspected of providing Rhodes.

Court records show Rhodes has racked up a string of misdemeanor and felony convictions over the last seven years, most of them misdemeanor convictions for drug possession or being under the influence of drugs. He also has a felony conviction for possession of brass knuckles and a misdemeanor conviction for evading a police officer during a vehicle pursuit.

To read entire story, click here.