Windsor woman pleads guilty to smuggling drugs to inmate: feds
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Windsor woman pleads guilty to smuggling drugs to inmate: feds

WINDSOR/HARTFORD, Conn. – A Windsor woman pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to smuggling drugs to an inmate at a federal prison in Pennsylvania, who then swallowed them with a balloon.

Vanessa Roberts Avery, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, said Samantha Ellis, 34, of Windsor pleaded guilty Monday before U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford to providing contraband to an inmate.

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According to court documents and statements filed in court, Tyshawn McDade was serving a prison sentence at the U.S. Correctional Facility in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.

On Nov. 12, 2022, Ellis smuggled a small blue balloon containing approximately 20 prepackaged strips of Suboxone sublingual film, which is a Schedule III controlled substance and narcotic, into the jail’s visiting room and then delivered the contraband to McDade, Avery said.

McDade then swallowed the balloon, she said.

According to federal authorities, a corrections officer noticed what happened and immediately ended the visit, and the conversation was recorded on video.

On September 28, 2023, a federal grand jury in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, indicted McDade and Ellis on felony charges.

The case against Ellis was subsequently transferred from the Middle District of Pennsylvania to the District of Connecticut for further prosecution.

Nagala scheduled sentencing for September 3, when Ellis faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. She was released on $10,000 bail pending sentencing.

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