MOREHEAD - Rowan County Jailer Wes Coldiron is making it known that he will not tolerate the public or inmates bringing illegal substances into his jail.
The jailer said just last week he and his staff were able to spoil a drug drop at a local dentist, a continuing effort that is at the forefront of Coldiron’s mission in his elected role.
“I’m in the business of trying to help people, not hurt them,” Coldiron said. “Bringing contraband into the jail can affect many and we will take any and all measures to stop it and prosecute the guilty to the fullest extent of the law.”
The jailer said in this particular drop, he was actually tipped off by another inmate and a visitor.
The inmate instructed the visitor through an illegal letter to stash a drop at a nearby dentist office and that a different inmate with a routine dentist appointment would pick it up at the specified time and date.
Coldiron confronted the inmate, telling him he knew about the drop and that it would not be tolerated.
That message apparently didn’t reach the others as the drop was made in the bathroom of dentist anyway.
The jailer said the inmate with the appointment never attempted to get to the drop during his visit, because he knew jail staff was on to him.
After the inmate got back from the appointment, Coldiron said jail staff then cleared the restroom of the facility.
There, jail officials found tightly wound balloons surrounded by black tape that was duct taped to the side of a toilet.
Inside the balloons were pouches of chewing tobacco and a bag of marijuana.
Coldiron said the jail has an idea of who dropped off the contraband for the inmate and what was found will be sent to the lab for identification and fingerprinting.
First degree promoting contraband is a Class D felony, subject to one to five years in prison.
“People bringing in contraband to the jail isn’t a huge problem. It’s very seldom it happens,” Coldiron said. “But it’s something we take very seriously and we will do whatever we can to keep people safe.”
Coldiron said in most cases people will transport the drugs rectally or in their stomach until they get to the jail and can get it out.
He said that’s the way it looked like in this case, with the tape wound tight as if it was going to be moved rectally.
Although tobacco and marijuana have their own risks associated, Coldiron said it could have very easily been heroin or some other deadly form of opiates that could have put many in harm’s way.
“You have that danger of transporting drugs and other things inside you, the dangers of what the drugs can actually do, along with all those who are exposed to the situation,” Coldiron said. “Again, we are here to help people get better, not make things worse.”
Coldiron pleaded with the public asking for those who are seeking help for drug addiction to give him a call so he can help point them in the right direction.
“If you are struggling with addiction, please call me,” he said. “If you really want help, I can help point you in the right direction or the right people who can help get you back on the right track through rehab or other means.”
Coldiron and the Rowan County Detention Center can be reached at 784-8457.
Brad Stacy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.