Inmate coaxes woman with 'disabilities' to smuggle drugs into prison
An inmate at a Mat-Su correctional center will serve more time behind bars after he coerced a woman with "disabilities" to help him smuggle drugs into the facility, authorities say.
According to a release from U.S. Attorney for Alaska Bryan Schroder's office, Spencer Daniel Johnson, 25, was sentenced on Thursday to serve 3.5 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance. This is on top of his 20-year sentence on an unrelated murder conviction in 2015.
Between April 1, 2016 and April 8, 2016, Johnson and fellow inmate Kalani Lemauga Maalona, 32, conspired to smuggle and distribute drugs into GCCC to other inmates, according to the U.S. attorney's office. During that time, they manipulated and convinced a "female associate" to help deliver a package of heroin.
"[The female], age 26, was an associate of Johnson’s, who had no criminal history, did not drive, and did not live independently due to an intellectual disability," according to the release.
Meanwhile, Johnson and Maalona placed a series of recorded calls in a coded language to coordinate the delivery.
"On April 8, 2016, Johnson provided directions to [the female] regarding what to wear in order to conceal the drugs, told her to meet with associates who would drive her to GCCC, and said he would provide her further guidance when the two met at GCCC in person. Despite L.B. voicing hesitation, Johnson coaxed her into following through," the release said.
On that evening, Johnson's girlfriend Heaven Leigh Erick, 29, drove the female to the correctional facility to meet with Johnson. When they hugged, Johnson reached inside her sleeve and took the package.
"During a brief exchange that followed, Johnson told [the female] she was a “good girl” for carrying out his instructions and assured her nothing would happen to her as long as everything went smoothly," according to the release.
A correctional officer witnessed the exchange and ordered Johnson to keep his hands on the table but he refused and swallowed the package of heroin. After several days of not surrendering the package, DOC took him to the hospital to get it surgically removed.
"Laboratory analysis revealed the package contained nearly 20 grams of heroin," according to the attorney's office. "Johnson admitted that he was paid $5,000 to smuggle the heroin into GCCC for distribution."
Maalona is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 9. Erick's sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 26. Both of them previously pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy.
Erick pleaded guilty to a two-count information, which charged her with possessing heroin and cocaine with the intent to distribute drugs and being a felon in possession of a firearm a month after the GCCC offense.
Johnson's "associate" does not appear to face any charges.
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