Suspicious Package Intercepted

On Tuesday, November 6, 2012 the United States Postal Service, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and the Jackson County Drug Task Force conducted an investigation into a suspicious package destined for the Greenwood Post Office. A narcotics detection canine was deployed on the package. The canine alerted to the odor of illegal narcotics emitting from the package.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, November 6, 2012 a controlled delivery of the package was executed at the Post Office in Greenwood. Veronica and Gerald Wood came to the Post Office that afternoon. Veronica Wood took possession of the package. Upon taking possession of the package Veronica and Gerald Wood were detained pending investigation.

During the course of the investigation it was determined that the package, who was addressed to Catalina Avalos, was really intended for Quiana Walker, who is Veronica and Gerald Wood’s daughter, and contained approximatley 9.8 ounces of marijuana. Quiana Walker is employed at Graceville Correctional Facility. The marijuana was packaged in a manner that is consistent with it being introduced into a secure facility.

Additionally it was discovered that Quiana Walker was in possession of letters written to Catalina Avalos and Catalina Lopez from an inmate at Graceville Correctional Facility. Walker was also in possession of several other postal packaging addressed to Catalina Avalos and Catalina Lopez. Contained with these postal packages were cellular telephone components and cigarette tobacco and rolling papers. These items are all extremely desirable contraband within correctional facilities and bring top dollar in the prison black market.

Quiana Walker was located at the Graceville Correctional Facility. Walker was placed under arrest for Conspiracy to Introduce Contraband into a Secure Facility, Marijuana and Conspiracy to Introduce Contraband into a Secure Facility, Cellular Telephone and Equipment.

Cellular telephone and drugs are in high demand inside prisons and are considered to be extremely valuable to inmates. Many acts of violence that occur in prisons are a direct result of contraband, which produce increasing threats to not only other inmates but correctional officers and other prison employees as well. Cellular phones have become increasingly popular in prisons because they give inmates unsecured connections to the outside world, which produce threats to the friends and families of correctional officers and law enforcement. Also, phones allow inmates to continue their criminal enterprise and conduct business as usual. This could involve crimes related to drugs, assaults and even murder. Potential targets of these crimes could be witnesses involved in their cases, defense and prosecuting attorneys, and the victims of their crimes. Cell phones in prison could directly endanger the community by allowing prisoners the opportunity to plot, plan and carry out their escape unbeknown to the prison staff.

The 9.8 ounces of marijuana destined for Graceville Correctional Facility is valued in excess of $10,000 inside a correctional institution. The marijuana and its value inside a correctional institution have potential to endanger staff and inmates.

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