PORT ANGELES — Inmates at the Clallam County jail will now receive only photocopies of their personal mail after authorities caught people smuggling Suboxone into the jail over the last two weeks, said jail Superintendent Ron Sukert.
Inmates’ mothers had attempted to smuggle Suboxone, a drug primarily used to treat opioid addiction, into the jail through the mail, according to a news release from Detective Sgt. John Keegan.
Three envelopes containing Suboxone were mailed into the facility but were intercepted by corrections deputies.
‘The new rage’
“This is the first time we’ve seen it coming into our jail, [though] we’ve had suspicions in the past,” he said. “It seems Suboxone is the new rage to try to get into jail because it’s very easy to conceal.”
Over the last two weeks, detectives with the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team, state Department of Corrections and deputies with the Clallam County Corrections Center worked to dismantle a group that was introducing contraband into the facility, Keegan said.
The investigation started when inmates appeared to be under the influence of drugs, despite being in the jail long enough to be sober, he said.
After monitoring inmate phone calls, visiting and mail, investigators said they learned that inmates were attempting to smuggle the prescription medication into the jail.
“They were abusing it,” Sukert said.
Report: Gotten from girlfriend
Inmate Robert Deanda, 39, allegedly had his girlfriend, Michelle McNeill, obtain Suboxone from his mother, Nona Deanda, then deliver the drug to Lori Barbieri, Keegan said in the release.
Barberie, whose sons Joseph Demmon and Clifford Hanning are in the Clallam County jail, allegedly hid Suboxone film strips in the seams of letters that were mailed into the facility, he said.
Barberie was booked into the jail Aug. 2 for investigation of introducing contraband and possessing a controlled substance.
All live in Sequim.
Keegan said the case will be forwarded to the Clallam County Prosecutor’s Office.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5550, or at jmajor@ peninsuladailynews.com.