6 arrested for smuggling drugs in Bibles into Shelby Co. jail - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

6 arrested for smuggling drugs in Bibles into Shelby Co. jail

Clockwise from top left: Altonius Mason, Charles Caldwell, Jacob Mykicz, Quran Wilson, Larry Keith Morris, Larry Brian Morris Clockwise from top left: Altonius Mason, Charles Caldwell, Jacob Mykicz, Quran Wilson, Larry Keith Morris, Larry Brian Morris
The drug "Suboxone" was being hidden inside the tabs attached to the Bible. Source: WBRC video The drug "Suboxone" was being hidden inside the tabs attached to the Bible. Source: WBRC video
Authorities say groups of people were meeting outside the jail to figure out how to sneak the drug in to inmates. Source: WBRC video Authorities say groups of people were meeting outside the jail to figure out how to sneak the drug in to inmates. Source: WBRC video
SHELBY COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

Eleven people are accused of using Bibles to smuggle drugs into the Shelby County Jail. Six of the suspects have already been arrested and warrants for five more suspects are pending.

Authorities began investigating in January after corrections officers found a Bible hiding Suboxone, a drug used to treat opiate and heroin addictions, inside the jail. Although the drug is used to treat addiction, it can also create a high if users take enough of it.

The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force believes the drugs were smuggled into the jail in November and December of 2013, but authorities started catching on to the scheme early this year. It took them several weeks to get enough evidence to make arrests.

Family and friends of the inmates put small strips of Suboxone inside tabs used as dividers, then attached the tabs to the Bibles. When the inmates received the Bibles, they just had to pull off the tabs to get to the drug, which was in a thin form similar to a Listerine strip, according to Turner.

"Drug addicts will go to any extreme to get drugs and will manipulate loved ones in order to get what they want. In this particular instance, the suspects persuaded other people to use Bibles as a means of delivering their drugs into a correctional facility," Task Force Commander Lt. Kevin Turner said.

He said groups of people outside the jail were actually meeting to tweak Bibles in order to house the drug.

"They get creative. Whenever you're behind bars for 24 hours a day and if you want something bad enough, you're going to find a way to get it in," he said.

Ever since the drug-smuggling Bibles were discovered, the jail has changed its policy and no longer allows outside books to be brought in for inmates. The exact number of Bibles brought in with drugs inside them is unknown, but Lt. Turner says it's less than 12.

"The Shelby County Correctional Facility has a zero tolerance policy for contraband, and those who violate the policy will be prosecuted," he added.

The investigation began on Jan. 2 and wrapped up in March when officials signed warrants on 11 suspects. The following suspects have been charged so far:

-Charles Robert Caldwell, 33, of Calera, was charged with Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy to Promote Prison Contraband 2nd. He is being held in the Shelby County Jail with a $20,000 bond.

-Altonius Donnel Mason, 20, of Birmingham, was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to promote prison contraband 2nd. He was released from the Shelby County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

-Larry Brian Morris, 37, of Wilsonville, was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to promote prison contraband 2nd He is being held in the Shelby County Jail with a $20,000 bond.

-Larry Keith Morris, 56, of Shelby, was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to promote prison contraband 2nd. He was released from the Shelby County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

-Jacob Kenneth Mykicz, 25, of Homewood, was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to promote prison contraband 2nd. He is being held in the Shelby County Jail with a $20,000 bond.

-Quran Elijah Wilson, 20, of Hoover, was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to promote prison contraband 2nd. He is being held in the Shelby County Jail with a $20,000 bond.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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