First of 3 suspects in jail cigarette smuggling scheme sentenced to prison

Local News

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KFDX/KJTL) — The first of three defendants in a cigarette smuggling scheme in the Wichita County Jail has been sentenced to prison.

Stephen Decker, 50, will be going to prison, while his wife and a former jail food service worker await their day in court.

After Decker pleaded guilty Thursday, July 15, to engaging in organized criminal activity, Judge Charles Barnard sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Stephen Decker Wichita County Jail booking photo 2019

Decker will also serve a 10-year concurrent sentence for forgery of currency for using a counterfeit $100 bill at a Sonic in Iowa Park in 2019.

The manager followed Decker from the restaurant and Decker was stopped and arrested in Wichita Falls.

In the jail smuggling case, an investigator said he learned late last year Aramark Food Services employee Cynthia Lanman was getting tobacco products from Decker’s wife and then passing them to Decker in the walk-in freezer.

He said Decker, who was in jail for forgery, used the tobacco as currency in the jail, distributing it to other inmates.

He said Lanman agreed to speak and admitted smuggling tobacco in on several previous occasions and said Decker also agreed to talk and they had, “Caught him red-handed this time.”

Decker has nine forgery arrests and five convictions.

Cases filed against Lanman and decker’s reported common-law wife Melissa Davis are pending.

Court officials said Davis failed to show for a status hearing on her case on July 8 and an arrest warrant was issued and she was booked back into jail on Thursday, July 15.

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