A 22-year-old woman has been charged with possession of drugs with the intent to deliver for allegedly attempting to smuggle narcotics into Maryland's largest correctional facility. The woman was taken into custody on the afternoon of July 28 and released on her own recognizance the following day. Charges are pending against the man she is said to have been trying to pass the drugs to and who is serving a 20-year sentence for second-degree murder.
An officer at Eastern Correctional Institution says that he became suspicious when he observed the woman throwing two packages over the visiting room wall in the facility's western compound at about 12:35 p.m. The officer recovered the two packages and then called in one of the facility's K-9 units to sniff for drugs. After the dog allegedly indicated that drugs were present, the packages were opened. Authorities say that they contained 353 orange strips that were later identified as the opioid suboxone.
A strip of the pain killer costs about $3 when prescribed by a physician, but it is worth as much as $1,000 per strip inside a correctional facility. This is why prosecutors have put a value of $35,000 on the seized drugs. The incident took place about a month after a Baltimore attorney was charged with attempting to smuggle the drug into a correctional facility in Hagerstown.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to resolve cases involving drug charges through a plea agreement when presented with a set of facts like this. Individuals who have loved ones behind bars often feel under great pressure to help them in any way they can, and this could lead people to behave in ways that are completely out of character. This is the kind of mitigating factor that attorneys could bring to the attention of prosecutors during plea negotiations.
Source: WMDT, "Thousands of dollars worth of drugs intercepted at ECI", Aaron Mushrush, July 29, 2019