Columbus woman accused of smuggling drugs into jail

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.
Kristen N. Hunter. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

A Columbus woman is being accused of trying to smuggle drugs into the Bartholomew County Jail in a body cavity.

The sheriff’s department says that 34-year-old Kristen Hunter had been sentenced to 30 days in jail for possession of a controlled substance. But she is now facing new charges of possession of a controlled substance and heroin, along with trafficking with an inmate.

Officers received a tip that Hunter was going to try to smuggle drugs into the jail after she was sentenced. Authorities obtained a search warrant and she was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for a search. That search revealed she had hidden two and a half grams of heroin, suboxone pills, two other, unidentified pills and two unopened packs of cigarettes.

Sheriff Matt Myers says that drug smuggling into jails remains a problem across the country. Bartholomew County jail officers search anything coming into the jail, including every scrap of paper. In the case of someone trying to smuggle items in through a body cavity, the only way to find that is from intelligence, tips or a body scanner.

Myers said that he, the Bartholomew County Commissioners and the County Council are working towards purchasing a body scanner for the jail and figuring out how that might be funded.

The sheriff’s department jail staff searched all of the cells in the jail yesterday and found a small amount of methamphetamine. That case remains under investigation.

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.