A deputy sheriff accused of trying to smuggle drugs into jail was in a Dartmouth courtroom yesterday for the start of a preliminary hearing.

Tyrone David, 41, was a provincial deputy sheriff in October 2009 when he was arrested after investigators said they observed an alleged drug transaction. Kathleen Kierans, noted at the time as the girlfriend of infamous criminal Jimmy Melvin Jr., was also arrested and charged.

Police said Kierans allegedly handed off drugs to David in the parking lot of a strip mall on Pleasant Street in Dartmouth.

Justice Minister Ross Landry said last year the drugs were headed for the Central Nova Correctional Facility in Burnside. He said the justice department would launch an internal investigation.

David and Kierans both appeared in court yesterday for the preliminary inquiry. The inquiry continues today.

David is facing three counts of conspiring to commit an indictable offence, three trafficking charges, 12 charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, one breach of trust of a public officer and one charge of bribery of an officer.

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