Coloring book used in jail drug smuggling scheme

PHILADELPHIA Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:42pm IST

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PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Three inmates and their loved ones were charged with attempting to smuggle drugs into a New Jersey jail on the pages of a children's coloring book, authorities said on Tuesday.

The drug, Subozone, normally used to treat heroin addiction but itself classified as a controlled dangerous substance, was dissolved into a paste and then painted into the coloring book, said Cape May County Sheriff Gary Schaffer. Pages with "To Daddy" scribbled on top were sent to the prisoners at the jail in Cape May, New Jersey.

"I've been in law enforcement for 38 years, and I've never seen anything like this," said Schaffer.

Authorities received a tip drugs were being smuggled in drawings, Schaffer said.

Charged in the case were prisoners Zachary Hirsch, Charles Markham and Paul Scipione. Also charged were Markham's mother, Debbie Longo, of West Wildwood, New Jersey, and Katelyn Mosbach, of Trevose, Pennsylvania, who was still being sought.

The New Jersey drug bust was the second one this month involving Suboxone smuggling behind bars.

Authorities at a prison in Carbon County, Pennsylvania earlier this month arrested 11 people in what they said was a scheme to hide the drug beneath postage stamps on letters mailed to inmates from family members.

(Reporting by Dave Warner; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)

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