Drug crimes, including smuggling and trafficking can carry serious penalties, especially for those who are caught dealing in Alabama prisons. In a recent case, 11 defendants have been charged and accused of using Bibles to smuggle drugs into the Shelby County Jail. The arrests have also sparked a larger investigation and warrants for an additional five suspects are pending. Reports indicate that the string of arrests occurred after a corrections officer discovered the drug Suboxone inside of a bible.
In the event of a drug investigation, inmates lose their right to 4th Amendment protections and can be subject to a search of their person or cell. Others accused of drug smuggling into prisons may be subject to 4th Amendment violations as well. In fact, you typically agree to be searched at any time by virtue of stepping into a prison. Our Birmingham defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients at every stage of the criminal investigation. Any case involving additional charges or prison offenses should be reviewed by an experienced advocate. In addition to facing serious drug crimes charges, defendants could face a lifelong prison sentence.
In this case, authorities have alleged that defendants were using binder tabs to smuggle the drugs in the bibles. According to reports, Suboxone is distributed in a pliable strip that is very easy to manipulate and smuggle when folded or tucked in such a binder tab. Law enforcement alleges that the inmates and outside sources were conspiring since November 2013 and teaching people how to do the drug within the prisons. The drug, Suboxone, is normally used to help treat drug addicts as they are recovering from heroin addiction or opiates, but the drug can give users a high if abused.
There are 11 facing charges, but authorities have not produced sufficient evidence to file all of the charges. There are still warrants pending for the alleged drug smugglers. Authorities do not know the number of bibles, but it is not believed to be more than 12. Drug smuggling in prisons is an ongoing issue that has raised the level of surveillance in Alabama and in the nation’s federal prisons. The Justice Department reports that the rate of drug addicted inmates is high, somewhere between 50 and 80 percent. This leaves a number of opportunities for drug crimes, including trafficking, smuggling, distribution and possession charges. While some inmates may receive drugs from family or friends, others pass drugs through soda cans, baby diapers, or through the mouth, while kissing.
Individuals who are charged with prison drug smuggling may include family members and other third-parties or inmates. Laws and penalties involving prison drug smuggling have become stricter and can leave non-violent drug crime defendants in jail for many years. If you or someone you love has been charged with a drug crime, it is important to seek experienced counsel. Any drug crime could carry serious charges and penalties.