Police say mother tried to smuggle drugs into prison while child was with her


News 12 First at Five/ Tuesday August 6, 2013

Augusta, GA (WRDW)---Officers say three people filled 38 balloons with marijuana, then tried to smuggle them into the federal prison in Edgefield.

"I think the most common question we ask these defendants is, what were you thinking?" said Mike Popplewell

The two ounces of weed were confiscated before making it inside. Popplewell says contraband isn't unusual, but does say the amount of drugs means it likely wasn't for just person.

"Drug sale or marketing within the prison system itself," he told News12.

Mike Popplewell has been in the corrections field for 34 years and says this not the first time he's heard of a crime like this, including a recent court case.

"He had marijuana in his pocket. He brought marijuana to court," he said.

Popplewell says despite claims from the man saying it wasn't his drugs he still went to jail.

"It epitomizes some of the silly things criminals do," he said.

No word on how the trio was caught, but Popplewell says all jails--especially federal prisons have procedures in place to catch contraband before it gets inside.

"You can tell by somebody's demeanor, how they are moving, whether they are suspicious, or whether their visits are truly legitimate. And once a suspicions is aroused then the correctional officers are going to raise their search techniques to a different level," he said

All three of the suspects arrested are from Florida. They'll be back in Edgefield county for court in October. Takerra Luster's 1-year-old was taken into DSS custody, and is now with the child's father in Florida.


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