A man who attempted to smuggle contraband into a federal prison by hiding drugs beneath postage stamps on mail to an inmate pleaded guilty Wednesday.
Jeffrey Lee Anderson is among three defendants named in an indictment accusing them of attempting to bring the drug buprenorphine into the possession of an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana.
Buprenorphine is a drug used to help individuals abusing an opioid, such as heroin or the prescription drug oxycodone, when they are attempting to rid themselves of addiction and avoid the symptoms of withdrawal. Suboxone is a drug that is largely buprenorphine but contains naloxone, as well. If injected, the naloxone negates the effects of the opiate buprenorphine, thus making it less likely to be abused by intravenous drug users.
If used orally, either in pill or in the form of a film that is dissolved beneath the tongue, suboxone can give the user a high, particularly if that person does not suffer from an opioid addiction. According to articles published in the New York Times and other media, suboxone is increasingly being smuggled into jails and prisons.
Anderson sent a package to co-defendant and FCI inmate Jack Elton Willie sometime before March 28, 2017, according to a factual basis filed Wednesday in Anderson's case. Concealed beneath the postage stamps were orange-tinted strips of sublingual buprenorphine.
Anderson pleaded guilty to one of four counts listed in the indictment with the help of Texarkana lawyer Howard Mowery at a hearing Wednesday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven in Texarkana's downtown federal building. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lucas Machicek is representing the government.
Three other counts that accuse Anderson are expected to be dismissed at sentencing. Sentencing will be scheduled once the court has received a report, including a punishment recommendation under federal guidelines.
Two other men, Willie and Kevin Tyler, are each named in the indictment that was issued in March by a grand jury in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas. Willie is named in three counts, and Tyler is named in one.
Tyler and Willie are both scheduled for trial in August before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III.
All three men remain in custody.