LACONIA — A Belknap County grand jury indicted three people on Thursday for a variety of charges relating to getting drugs into the county jail on or about February of 2013.
According to the indictments, April Tyrrell, 49, whose address was given as the Belknap County House of Corrections is charged with one felony count of being an accomplice to delivery of articles to a prisoner and one count of conspiracy to deliver articles to prisoners.
Jonathan Bristow, 50, whose address was given as 1040-A Route 132 in New Hampton in charged with one count of conspiracy to deliver articles to prisoners and one count of delivery of articles to prisoners.
Patricia Kennett, 30, of the N.H. Prison for Women in Goffstown is charged with one count of conspiracy to deliver articles to prisoners.
Indictments alleged that the three spoke about getting drugs into the jail by having Bristow come to visit and use duct tape to secure a package containing them under a radiator in the public restroom. The type and amount of drugs has not been identified.
One of Tyrrell's House of Corrections assignments was to clean the bathroom in the evenings. Tyrrell was sentenced in December of 2012 to serve 12 months in county jail by a Belknap County Superior Court judge for three counts of drug possession.
The conspiracy was uncovered when the Kennett and Bristow allegedly spoke on the telephone and used Tyrrell to retrieve the drugs.
Kennett was being held in county jail during the time of the alleged drug smuggling conspiracy on a probation violation.
Kennett was convicted of robbery on February 2, 2012 for a purse snatching she committed in downtown Laconia on October 26, 2011 and sentenced to serve 1 to 3 years in New Hampshire State Prison.
She was put on probation but records say in December of 2012 she violated the terms by living with a new boyfriend at a different address, admitting to being an accomplice to burglary, associating with people who were also on probation, admitting the use of a variety of illegal drugs including cocaine, heroin, and benzodiazapines while on probation, and failing to complete a drug program while on release.
Corrections Superintendent Daniel Ward said he couldn't comment on this specific case or investigation. As to smuggling any kind of contraband into the jail, he said his department routinely investigate allegations and incidents and then turns the cases over to the Belknap County Sheriff's Department for investigation.
"If we have any evidence the sheriff turns it over to the Belknap County Attorney and she will prosecute every time," he said.
Ward says he wants to dispel the concept that jail or prisons are lawless cultures. "On the contrary, we are very disciplined," he said.
"If you can't follow the rules in jail then how can you expect to follow them when you're not in jail," he said.
He said drugs in jail are dangerous for a number of reasons including the safety of the prisoners who don't use them, prisoners who may accidentally overdose or have an allergic reactions, and his staff. Over his years in corrections, he said people have tried hundreds of different ways to get drugs, weapons, or cigarettes into jails and prisons and he and his officers have generally dealt with some version of all of them.