Miss Kentucky USA 2011 Kia Hampton in November, 2012 in New York City. (Charles Norfleet, Getty Images)

Strip search of ex-Miss Kentucky after she dropped balloon of weed at prison visit was wrong says lawyer

LIMA, Ohio — A former Miss Kentucky USA who’s accused of smuggling marijuana into an Ohio prison shouldn’t have been pulled aside and searched by guards, her attorney told a judge.

The attorney for 28-year-old Kia Hampton of Louisville, Kentucky, argued Thursday that authorities shouldn’t have been given a warrant that allowed a strip search.

Authorities say Hampton was found with a balloon filled with marijuana while she was trying to visit an inmate at the Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution in late May.

Hampton, who won the Miss Kentucky USA pageant in 2010, was served a search warrant upon arriving at the prison for an inmate visit.

She was talking with guards in a separate room when they spotted a balloon filled with three grams of marijuana on the floor near her feet, said Shawn Wakefield, a prison investigator. Hampton said she had taken the marijuana out of the waistband of her pants and shoved it into her pants leg, Wakefield testified.

Female guards then conducted a strip search but did not find any other drugs, The Lima News reported.

A state trooper said authorities asked for the search warrant after listening to phone calls that led them to believe Hampton planned to smuggle drugs to an inmate.

Hampton was planning to visit the inmate who is serving a four-year sentence for drug trafficking. Prison authorities said Thursday that Hampton had made regular visits to the inmate, sometimes up to three per month.

The third-degree felony charge of bringing drugs onto government facility grounds carries a maximum three-year prison sentence upon conviction.