Drug trafficking charges carry some of the most severe penalties upon conviction. In a recent case, a worker at the Alabama Department of Corrections has been charged with attempting to bring drugs into a state prison. Drug trafficking and prison smuggling is a significant problem in Alabama and nationwide. For those involved, the profits can outweigh the risk inside state prisons. Our Birmingham drug crimes defense lawyers are experienced in providing strategic and aggressive defense in cases ranging from simple possession to distribution and drug trafficking.
Authorities report that the corrections officer tried to smuggle methamphetamine into the prison and has been charged with conspiracy to traffic. According to prison records, the defendant has worked as an employee in the state system for over 15 years. The arrest ensured after the corrections officer met with an undercover detective. Immediately after the arrest, authorities obtained a search warrant and searched the home of the officer, where they uncovered and seized additional evidence related to the crime. Police who searched his home confiscated over $55,000 worth of meth, marijuana and other drugs.
Drug trafficking in prisons is not uncommon, but any arrest and charges can carry significant penalties. There are a number of reasons why the flow of drugs into prisons continues to be a problem for the state. Despite efforts to reduce drug trafficking, innovative inmates have found ways to smuggle and profit from the business. Inmates have been able to obtain cell phones and use them to arrange drug deliveries. Those in the prison business admit that the walls are no border for drug smuggling. One of the reasons it is so rampant is because corrections officers stand to profit from the trade.
Some states have taken aggressive action to stop the import of drugs, including drug detecting dogs, searches of staff and visitors, and even pat-downs of staff. Despite these efforts, prisons continue to seize marijuana, meth and other contraband on prison grounds. In addition to trafficking efforts by corrections officers, drugs may also reach inmates through visitors and new inmates, or by those who do work at off-prison work sites. Prisoners have been known to pass the drugs through a passionate kiss with a girlfriend or smuggle the drugs in legal documents which are supposed to be protected against searches. The problem seems to be just as pervasive in federal and state prisons.
According to insiders, including prison officials, the drug trade is dominated by prison gangs and the profits can be staggering. The price for heroin inside the cell can be up to 10 times the price of the drugs on the street. The potential for profits can ensnare inmates as well as guards in the business. Though some states have been more successful than others in reducing prison drug smuggling, the practice is common in Alabama and nationwide. Individuals who are accused of trafficking in Alabama prisons need experienced counsel to reduce consequent charges and penalties.