WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Investigators say it sends a clear message that drugs will not be tolerated. More than 20 inmates at the Whitley County Detention Center face new charges after they failed drug tests.
Police say someone used unusual tricks to get Suboxone strips into the jail. But drugs slipping through the cracks of a jail isn't anything you haven't heard of before. 21 inmates being involved is what makes this case at the Whitley County Detention Center a big one.
"The best thing we can do when we get information like this is follow up on it and charge the people who come up positive on the drug test," said Major Steve Lundy, with the Whitley County Detention Center.
An inmate trustee passing out Suboxone strips to other inmates is how the captain says drugs got into his jail. An informant relayed those details to the Williamsburg Police Department.
"We got information from a former inmate that said there were other inmates bringing in some illegal drugs into the jail," said Detective Bobby Freeman, with the Williamsburg Police Department.
So why is Suboxone difficult to keep out of jails? Because of the creative ways it can be smuggled in. The Bible is one example of how they get Suboxone into the jail. They melt strips onto the pages, tear them out, and chew on them to get a high.
"They bring them in letters, they bring them in pictures, in clothes, and they'd bring them in their body cavities," said Detective Freeman.
We are told the inmate trustee worked outside on the jail grounds, and that's where he'd pick up his contraband. Officials couldn't show us the surveillance video that proves it.
"It shows an inmate in what we believe was passing the drugs, and it shows him bringing the drugs in," said Major Lundy. "But who exactly brought it to him, it doesn't show that."
It's a problem jail officials say happens across the Bluegrass.
"This stuff can be hidden so easily," said Major Lundy. "It's hard to stop!"
Suboxone is a drug people use to ween themselves off stronger drugs. Those inmates who tested positive for it have been charged with first degree promoting contraband which is a felony charge.