Two sentenced after child used to smuggle drugs into Newport prison

in Newport/News by

NEWPORT — Three people accused of using a child to smuggle narcotic drugs into the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport back in September, were in court this week.

On Tuesday, 34-year-old Samantha Watson of Newport pled guilty to charges of possessing a narcotic, transporting a drug into a detention center, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Police say during the incident, Buprenorphine was transported inside the Newport facility and then handed to 38-year-old inmate Chad Paquette under the table by a child during the visit.

Buprenorphine is used to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates.

Paquette pled guilty on Tuesday to the charge of possessing a regulated drug.

Jason Watson, a 27-year-old inmate from Newport, pled innocent to the charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and delivering or selling a regulated drug.

According to prison authorities, they had recordings of Jason Watson calling Samantha Watson and organizing the handoff of drugs to Paquette through the child.

A guard says he witnessed the child hand an item to Paquette during the visit. Paquette was then taken to a “dry cell” overnight after a search turned up no drugs.

In prison terminology, a dry cell is a room that prisoners are placed in that lacks any plumbing facilities such as a toilet. Prisoners are placed in dry cells if they are suspected of having swallowed contraband. The idea is that they will eventually excrete all the contents of their digestive system, and lacking any toilet, they will be unable to dispose of it and thereby prevent prison officials from acquiring the evidence.

Police say the next day they retrieved a cellophane bundle containing six strips of Buprenorphine inside the dry cell.

Samantha Watson was issued a suspended sentence of six to 12 months and ordered to report to the Reparative Board.

Paquette was sentenced to up to six months added to his current prison sentence.