CT woman pleads guilty to trying to smuggle drugs into a Pa. jail
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CT woman pleads guilty to trying to smuggle drugs into a Pa. jail

A Windsor woman has pleaded guilty to trying to smuggle suboxone strips into a federal prison in Pennsylvania in 2022, authorities said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut said Samantha Ellis pleaded guilty to supplying contraband to a federal prison inmate. The office said Ellis, 34, appeared Monday before U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford, the office said in a news release.

The office said Ellis was released on $10,000 bail ahead of Nagala’s Sept. 3 sentencing. She added that she faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

According to prosecutors, Ellis visited the U.S. Penitentiary in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, on November 12, 2022, where Tyshawn McDade was incarcerated. Ellis smuggled in a “little blue balloon” containing 20 strips of sublingual film.

This drug is commonly used to treat opiate addiction and is a drug classified by the U.S. government as a Schedule III substance. According to the government, the classification means it has a “moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence”.

Prosecutors said McDade swallowed a balloon containing drugs, but a corrections officer noticed them and “immediately ended the visit,” the U.S. attorney’s office said.

According to the office, the smuggling attempt was captured on video.

On September 28 last year, a federal grand jury in Pennsylvania returned an indictment charging McDade and Ellis. The U.S. attorney’s office said Ellis’ case was later transferred to the District of Connecticut.