Prison drug ring busted
Warren — The Maine Department of Corrections has arrested one person and charged two inmates in connection with an investigation into an ongoing plot to smuggle the prescription drug Suboxone into the Maine State Prison.
Karen Lane of Orono has been arrested and charged with class B unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs in connection with the case.
Lane has been selling her prescription Suboxone to inmates at the Maine State Prison and then providing the drugs to acquaintances of the inmates since early December 2012 with the intent that the drugs would be smuggled into the prison system, according to Criminal Investigator David Wilson of the Maine Department of Corrections.
According to Wilson, the prescription drug Suboxone, which is in the narcotic category of drugs and used primarily as a treatment for opiate dependency, is prescribed in a sublingual film, commonly referred to as a "strip" and has a value in prison of $100 per strip.
With the assistance of U.S. Postal Investigator Jeffrey Taylor, the Department of Corrections has seized an amount of Suboxone in two separate packages sent through the U.S. mail system that were targeted for the Maine State Prison in Warren.
Following the seizure of the packages the Department of Corrections utilized their K-9 team to detect the presence of drugs within the packages. Once the drugs were detected by the dogs and in the midst of an ongoing investigation Wilson and Taylor, along with the assistance of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, arrested Lane at her Orono residence Jan. 31.
In the week following Lane’s arrest two inmates within the Maine Prison system have also been charged with conspiracy to traffic in scheduled drugs. Inmate Christopher Hyson of the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, who is Lane’s son and inmate Adam Shawley of the Maine State Prison in Warren were both charged with felony violations in connection to the investigation.
“The two packages seized contain an amount of drugs totaling almost $5,000 in value within the prison system”, according to Gary LaPlante, director of security for the Maine Department of Corrections. “This is a significant amount of illegal drugs that did not make its way into the prison system."
According to Wilson, Lane was not the only person involved in selling her prescription, “The deeper we get into this case the more we’re realizing the problem is larger than we first anticipated. Unfortunately there is money to be made through the trafficking of drugs in prison as well as in the community."
According to the Department of Corrections, the investigation is continuing and additional suspects, both inmates and individuals within the community, have been identified and additional charges are forthcoming.