CT woman pleads guilty to smuggling drugs into Pennsylvania prison
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CT woman pleads guilty to smuggling drugs into Pennsylvania prison

A Connecticut woman has pleaded guilty to supplying contraband to an inmate at a federal prison in Pennsylvania, according to federal authorities.

Samantha Ellis, 34, of Windsor, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford, according to Vanessa Roberts Avery, U.S. attorney in Connecticut.

Authorities, citing court documents and statements filed in court, said Tyshawn McDade is serving a sentence at the U.S. Penitentiary in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, and in November 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” to the USP Allenwood Visiting Room” and allegedly provided contraband to McDade.

Authorities say McDade swallowed the balloon, but a corrections officer noticed what happened and ended the visit, with the conversation captured on video.

A federal grand jury in Pennsylvania indicted McDade and Ellis in September 2023, and the case against Ellis was transferred from the Middle District of Pennsylvania to Connecticut.

Nagala scheduled sentencing for September 3, and Ellis faces up to 20 years in prison. Authorities said Ellis is free on $10,000 bail pending sentencing.

Authorities said McDade’s case is ongoing.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.