Detectives allege Sunnyside woman mailed drugs into jail hidden in Bible, other books | Crime And Courts

Yakima County drug task force officers say a Sunnyside woman was mailing drugs hidden in books into the county jail and a state prison.

Agents with the Law Enforcement Against Drugs task force said the woman was mailing the books disguised as shipments from Amazon, according to a probable cause affidavit.

While acknowledging the allegations against the 53-year-old woman were serious, Yakima County Superior Court Judge David Elofson ordered her released Friday during the pretrial release program, with reminders about future court dates sent out through text messages.

April 1, Yakima County sheriff’s detective told the task force, which consists of officers from the Washington State Patrol, the sheriff’s office, and the Sunnyside, Granger, Grandview, Selah and Yakama Nation Tribal police departments, that an informant reported an inmate was receiving drugs in parcels and selling them to other inmates in the North Front Street jail.

That same day, the jail found suboxone hidden within the cover of a Bible that had been mailed to the inmate, the affidavit said. also offers shipping services.

One of the store’s owners told investigators that the package was sent by a woman who had sent six packages to the jail, and that the parcels were in recycled Amazon packaging, the affidavit said.

On April 6, the inmate who was receiving the packages was transferred to the Airway Heights Corrections Center, where prison staff told LEAD investigators that they had intercepted parcels containing suboxone concealed in books and addressed to the inmate and another convict at the prison.

The store owner told investigators this week that the woman had dropped off two packages for delivery, the affidavit said. When they were searched, detectives found suboxone hidden in a copy of a “Chicken Soup for The Soul” book and a word-search puzzle book, the affidavit said.

Detectives were able to identify the suspect through jailhouse calls and other evidence, and arrested her Thursday on suspicion of three counts each of possessing suboxone with intent to deliver and third-degree introducing contraband into a corrections facility.

Deputy Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Quinten Bowman said at Friday’s hearing that, given the pattern of incidents, a $ 7,500 bail would be appropriate.

But defense attorney Beth Wehrkamp argued for releasing her, noting that “she accepts responsibility for a very poor decision” and has been cooperative with police.

In the affidavit, she told detectives that he had been directed to mail drugs to several inmates, one of whom told her how to conceal them.


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