A 53-year-old Oregonian woman appeared in court earlier this month to plead guilty to attempting to deliver methamphetamine and oxycodone to her daughter in prison, Oregon Live reports.
Elizabeth Kay Sparkman attempted on two separate occasions in March 2015 to smuggle drugs to her daughter, Brandi Miller, who was in the Multnomah County jail system at the time. Miller, 29, had been booked for two months prior on accusations of identity theft and raiding mailboxes in the Portland area.
During the first attempt, which took place on March 2, Sparkman filled two tampons with prescription drugs. She then took the two tampons, along with a syringe, and taped them to the back of a toilet seat at the Multnomah County Dental Health Center.
The plan was for Miller to retrieve the drugs during a dental appointment, but this failed when the bundle came loose and rolled onto the restroom floor, where it was discovered by deputies.
The two made a second attempt a few days later on March 5. This time, they spoke in a thinly veiled code during a jail phone call, according to Oregon Live.
Deputies were waiting when Sparkman went to go drop the drugs off at a dental clinic for Miller. Sparkman hid the contraband in three tampons as part of a "care package" containing other items. She confessed on the spot when she was caught, and handed to authorities 1 gram of meth and 18 oxycodone pills, along with other prescription drugs, according to Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
The case highlights the problem of inmates in U.S. jails who are desperate to get drugs. Drug abuse in jail can be especially dangerous for addicts, because addicted inmates who once built up a high tolerance can find themselves overdosing on these same drugs when they do them after a long time of enforced sobriety.
"It's a never-ending problem," said Lt. Steve Alexander, a Multnomah County Sheriff's Office spokesman.