Three women were arraigned last week for allegedly delivering drugs to inmates at the Edgartown house of correction.
Penny J. Gazaille, 33, of Edgartown, and June Morrell, 23, of West Tisbury, were arraigned Nov. 19 on charges of delivering drugs to a prisoner.
According to documents filed in court, on August 14 Ms. Gazaille allegedly delivered three Suboxone pills to Alex Carlson, an inmate, who was outside the jail on work detail.
On August 22, Ms. Morrell allegedly delivered four Suboxone pills to Mr. Carlson, also while he was outside on work detail.
Ms. Gazaille allegedly told police that another inmate, Martin Kelly, had called her to ask if she could get drugs for him, and she allegedly met a man at a park in Edgartown who gave her the pills. As she was returning to her Pine street home, the report said, Ms. Gazaille allegedly handed over the plastic-wrapped pills to Mr. Carlson while he was working outside the facility.
Ms. Gazaille allegedly picked up more pills for the inmate, but was unable to drop them off. She allegedly asked her sister, Ms. Morrell, to bring the package to the jail and give them to Mr. Carlson, who would identify himself by yelling out “bug.”
Prison officials allegedly found out about the drugs from an informant who said drugs were entering the facility.
Pretrial hearings for the two women are scheduled for Dec. 20.
Mr. Kelly, 38, was arraigned in October on an August 14 charge in Edgartown of receiving an article from a prisoner. Also in October, another inmate, Benjamin Fogg, was arraigned on a drug charge for allegedly bringing six to eight Suboxone pills into the jail in a body cavity, and allegedly distributing them to other inmates.
In a separate case, Jessica I. Peters, 38, of Oak Bluffs, was also arraigned Nov. 19 on a Sept. 16 charge of delivering drugs to a prisoner.
She allegedly brought property to the jail for her brother, Joseph Peters, including a pair of black Nike sneakers and a manila envelope with photos. Inside the envelope flap, a report filed in court said, prison officers allegedly found a drawing that appeared to be a map. This allegedly showed the insert of one of the sneakers, where one Suboxone pill was discovered.
A pretrial hearing for Ms. Peters is scheduled for Dec. 20.
In an interview in October, Dukes County Sheriff Michael A. McCormack said the issue of bringing drugs into the jail is a constant, ongoing issue at the facility, which is surrounded by a low white fence in a residential area off Edgartown’s Main street.
“People are very sort of inventive when it comes to ways of bring things into the facility,” he said, recalling people putting drugs into tennis balls and throwing them over the fence, and that sometimes drugs are dropped for prisoners while they are working on the highway clean-up program.
Inmates are also allowed outside for grounds maintenance, and though they are observed, there is the opportunity to pick up things there, he said. Inmates undergo random but regular drug testing as well.
“It’s an issue with every [house of correction], every jail in the commonwealth of Massachusetts and probably the U.S.,” the sheriff said. With about 80 per cent of people in jail because of drug or substance abuse cases, he said, people are often trying to bring those things into the jails.