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Alleged drug use leads to end of inmate trustee program in Martin County

wptv-martin-county-sheriffsofficeocorrectionsdepartment.jpg
Joshua Cossaboon
Posted at 9:04 AM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 20:08:51-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — It was a program that had inmates helping to clean Martin County parks, but the sheriff's office shut it down after video surfaced of an inmate allegedly using drugs while on the job.

It's an old video raising new questions.

It shows a man, who was a Martin County inmate at the time, identified as Joshua Cossaboon, using what looks like a homemade bong.

WPTV can’t confirm what was in it, but that inmate was in the presence of a county parks employee, who in the video, also appears to take a hit.

The employee resigned when the video was brought to his attention this past March. We are not identifying him because he was not charged with a crime.

It was another black eye for the Martin County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Trustee program, done in conjunction with the parks department, that was started many years ago.

The program had previously been suspended sometime around 2015.

The county was subcontracting park employees at the time.

It was discovered one of those people, who lived not far from the jail, went home for lunch and left one of the inmates in his vehicle.

So how was the program reborn?

The parks department went to the sheriff and said that only county employees would supervise the inmates in the future, not subcontractors.

The sheriff signed off back in August 2016.

The video in question was likely taken between September and December of 2018 when Cossaboon was serving time on a drug possession charge.

WPTV reached out to the county for a comment.

A spokeswoman said this was the only incident since the program got a second chance, however, both the county and the sheriff’s office say the MCSO Inmate trustee program is not likely to be reinstated.