A Valley woman has been arrested, accused of mailing meth-laced letters to four inmates at the 4th Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says it’s an ongoing battle to stop drug smuggling in all Maricopa County jails.
“These inmates better worry too,” said Arpaio. “For using drugs in my system. I don’t like that.”
Sheriff's detectives were led to the Sheriff's video visitation program, which revealed a conversation between an inmate and Natasha Geach about drugs that were coming into the jail and how the drugs were distributed to the inmates. Further investigation led to a search warrant.
Arpaio says the suspect acted as an attorney and sent in court documents to the jail. Court documents are not routinely checked.
MCSO says Geach sprayed liquid meth all over the documents, which were found in four different cells.
“They're in jail,” said Arpaio. “I took away everything from them, now they're going to be using drugs? That's a no, no.”
ABC15 crews went to the DEA to get more information about liquid meth. They said drug traffickers are really taking advantage of this liquid camouflage.
— Kim Tobin (@KimABC15) April 16, 2016
“Spraying on paper, mailing it through the US Postal Service and things like that,” said Jeffrey Scott with the DEA. “Then they can ingest it that way too. You can ingest the paper.”
The DEA says it’s becoming a popular smuggle method to get drugs over the border. They shared photos from recent investigations, showing the liquid in plastic bags, bottles and a gas tank.
“It is a unique method, that they are trying more often and one that we are just as equally a tuned to and we're out looking for,” said Scott.
Now the jail is looking out to see if Geach is just the beginning of a bigger problem.
“How many was she selling to?” asked Arpaio. “Was there more?”
Arpaio says he will likely conduct drug tests of inmates in the nearby cells where the drugs were found.
Officials say four inmates, already in custody, could be facing additional felony charges of promoting prison contraband, and other felony drug charges.