Drug Smuggling Ring Inside Barnstable Jail Uncovered

The Special Operations Unit (SOU) of the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation into an attempted effort to smuggle illegal narcotics into the correctional facility by the use of inmate legal mail.

In an effort to keep illegal narcotics from entering the Correctional Facility, the Sheriff’s Office uses drug-sniffing K-9’s, visual inspection and opening of mail by trained security personnel, a body scanning device and random searches of all areas of the facility. According to state regulation, mail from an attorney to their inmate client is not able to be opened outside the presence of the inmate receiving the mail.

Information has been developed that someone attempted to conceal illegal narcotics disguised as mail from the attorney to an inmate client. The party printed an exterior envelope appearing to be from an attorney and included copies of legal materials in an effort to avoid detection from the screening process. Also included in the envelope was a melted form of an opioid based narcotic. The illegal narcotics were discovered and seized.

“The person(s) responsible for attempting to use the United States mail system to introduce illegal narcotics into our correctional facility should know that they are violating Federal and State law and that the Sheriff’s Office intends to fully prosecute anyone we can build a case against” stated Sheriff James M. Cummings.

Under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 268, Section 28, “Whoever gives or delivers to a prisoner in any correctional institution, or in any jail or house of correction, any drug…without the permission of the superintendent or keeper, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years, or in a jail or house of correction for not more than two years, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.” Federal Law also carries a penalty of up to ten years in Federal Prison.

The Sheriff’s Office SOU investigation is ongoing and the United States Postal Inspection Service has been notified. Anyone with information that may be helpful is encouraged to contact Special Sheriff Jeff Perry at the Sheriff’s Office at 508-563-4303.

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