ST AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A drug smuggling plot in St Johns County is highlighting a growing trend nationwide. The sheriff's office has arrested two women for lacing stamps with drugs then mailing them inside the county jail. Nearly two dozen inmates were using that supply to get high.
"It's concerning," said St. Johns County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cpl. Catherine Payne, of the nation's drug problem.
It's an epidemic that knows no race, no gende, no economic background.
"It's widespread," she said. "Unfortunately something we've known since the beginning of studies of drug addiction, there is no discrimination."
Drugs have a firm grip on not just St Johns County, but Florida and the nation. Payne says it's something deputies work to combat tirelessly. But the struggle is never-ending.
"Drugs and addiction spur on more crime and it's our jobs as law enforcement to combat that crime and keep it at bay."
Chelsey Camerone appeared before a judge on Thursday. She and cohort Hana Colson were arrested for smuggling suboxone into jail on the back of stamps. Payne says it's proof a drug addict will go to great lengths to supply the high.
"Those who are dependent on drugs will, at times, do just about everything to get that drug, to chase that high so they'll continue on, commit crimes, they'll rob, they'll commit burglaries."
And because the drugs are so easily accessible, she says even kids are falling victim. So it's crucial for parents to help them fight back.
"Parents need to be vigilant. They need to look at their son or daughter, watch for behavior changes, watch for mood changes, check their bedrooms, look for things that are out of the ordinary."
In the case of the stamps, the sheriff's office has already stepped up its game in screening what comes into the jail.
Both Camerone and Colson are being charged with possession of drugs, producing drugs and smuggling contraband. In all, 22 inmates tested positive for suboxone.