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7, including jail inmates and guards, arrested for drug smuggling in lockup

Published On: 10-07-2016 in Category: drug abuse, drug trafficking


Smuggling of illegal drugs is rampant in America’s prisons. Drugs like cocaine, marijuana, and hydrocodone find an easy way into jails due to various reasons, ranging from inmate ingenuity, corrupt staff to suspicious visitors. A year-long investigation, which began in 2015 to check the entry of contraband drugs into the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), led to the arrest of seven people in April 2016 for their alleged involvement in smuggling the drugs into the prison. However, the plan is now expected to involve more than 90 people, along with a large number of prison employees and a few outsiders, as per a federal prosecutor in Kansas City.

Attorney for Kansas City Barry Grissom announced the names of the convicts, who were held for smuggling contraband drug into the lockup. Guard at the lockup Antonio Aiono (28) of Platte City was charged with a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and offer methamphetamine, synthetic marijuana and tobacco products to the inmates. Jail inmates Stephen Rowlette (35) and Karl Carter (41) were arrested for their alleged involvement in smuggling drugs like methamphetamine, synthetic marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possess methamphetamine, synthetic marijuana, and tobacco products.

Three more people from outside the facility, including Rowlette’s wife and his mother, were also arrested for making drugs available to the inmates. The deliveries were usually taken during church services or drug treatment programs offered to the lockup inmates, said the police. Marijuana cost $50 each, while a pack of cigarette was priced at $150.

According to the transcripts from the July 2016 hearing in Kansas City, Kansas, Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Tomasic had said that the investigation was going on and more people, including prison employees, were expected to be involved in the incident.

The lockup that is operated by the for-profit CCA under contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Marshals Service is run separately from the federal prison in Leavenworth.

In several phone recordings made in the facility, the inmates were heard discussing ways to get money for drug suppliers and to get “high” on drugs. In objection to the phone recordings, a public defender accused the federal officials of infringing into the privacy of the inmates and their lawyers. In response to these allegations, U.S. District Judge Julie Robison had decided to appoint a separate investigator to look into the matter in detail. However, as per the CCA, such recordings are only meant for the safety of the inmates, their lawyers, as well as the prison premises and do not contain any audio clippings.

Addiction-free life is possible

For a long time now, the U.S. has been spending a large sum of money on campaigns against contraband drugs, which have engulfed the entire country.

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