An Ellenton woman has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge alleging she mailed contraband into the jail behind stamps on postcards.
Sarah L. Parsons, 32, is charged with introduction of contraband into a detention facility, a third-degree felony.
On Nov. 28, a front desk clerk at the Manatee County jail noticed that two postcards addressed to an inmate appeared to have something behind the stamps, and she notified a detective with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
The detective peeled back the stamps and found one of strip of Suboxone behind each stamp.
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Suboxone is a Schedule III controlled substance used to treat addiction to opioids.
An investigation into the inmate’s visitors found one woman who was a regular and determined that Parsons and the inmate were listed as in a relationship on social media. Pictures on her social media page matched photos on postcards received at the jail, according to court documents.
Documents allege Parsons had several visits with a particular inmate in the county jail. Twice, jail calls between Parsons and the inmate revealed discussions about “him not getting mail yet,” according to records.
In the calls, Parsons was asked if she put some mail together yet, to which she replied, “No not yet. ... I just put three more in the mail,” records show.
Detectives found a total of three postcards with Suboxone strips under the stamps allegedly from Parsons to the inmate. The third was found by jail staff Dec. 2.
In an interview with officials, Parsons allegedly admitted to sending the Suboxone strips, according to records.
Parsons was arrested Tuesday and bonded out of jail Wednesday, jail records show.
In court Tuesday, Parsons pleaded not guilty, according to records. She has hired an attorney.