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Jail food service director accused of sending letters, photos to inmate

Donna Launer, another inmate arrested on charges of smuggling contraband

Donna Launer is accused of sending letters and photographs to an inmate at the Stock Island Detention Center.
Donna Launer is accused of sending letters and photographs to an inmate at the Stock Island Detention Center.

KEY WEST, Fla. – A food service director at a Florida Keys jail has been arrested after she was sending letters and photographs to an inmate with whom she was romantically involved, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Donna Launer was arrested Wednesday on a third-degree felony charge of smuggling contraband into a jail facility.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Launer, 43, was sending letters and photographs to inmate Daniel Rodriguez. Herrin said they developed a relationship while Rodriguez, 34, was working as an inmate trusty in the kitchen at the jail.

Rodriguez told detectives that he and Launer "expressed feelings" for each other and "kissed and rubbed" each other, but he denied ever having sex with her, Herrin said.

After Rodriguez was removed from kitchen duty, Launer began writing him letters and sending him photos, Herrin said. The letters contained sexually explicit content, but the photos did not, Herrin said.

Launer, who was a contract employee with the food service company Aramark, used another inmate, Kristofer Lluis, to deliver the letters and photos.

Rodriguez was arrested on burglary, grand theft and multiple fraud charges in July 2015. Lluis was arrested on multiple burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief charges in April 2014.

Luis, 20, now faces an additional charge of smuggling contraband into a jail facility.