Officials cracking down on new prison drug smuggling scheme

Posted at: 03/08/2013 6:21 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Some New Mexico prisoners are really trying to get their hands on envelopes.  It’s part of a new drug scheme that prison officials have discovered.

Friends and family of inmates put the drug suboxone into legal mail.  The drug comes in thin yellow strips that users place on their tongue to get high.

The Department of Corrections tells KOB Eyewitness News 4 people smuggle envelopes from law firms.  They’re trying to make the envelope look like it comes from an attorney’s office.  Legal mail is protected, so the jail isn’t allowed to read the contents, but they are allowed to open it.

"I guess the inmates think that there is a right to privacy for attorney client privilege, that we aren't going to scrutinize the mail,” said Michael Ferstl with the NM Dept. of Corrections.  “Well we are and we are opening mail that looks suspicious."

Prison officials plan on cracking down by using more drug-sniffing K-9s, new technology and paying closer attention to the legal mail coming in.