NEWS
Prison Guards Find Synthetic Marijuana in Soap Dispenser Inside New York Jail
That same week, an inmate bit a prison guard and attempted to swallow a small package of spice.
Published on February 20, 2020

Corrections officers discovered synthetic marijuana inside the Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome, New York, on two separate occasions last week.

On Saturday, a corrections officer conducting a routine search of the women's visitors room bathroom discovered something unusual in a hand-soap dispenser. According to the state Corrections Officers and Police Benevolent Association, the officer found three latex bundles stashed inside the liquid soap. Authorities inspected the packages, which turned out to contain more than one and a half ounces of synthetic marijuana. 

Unlike real, natural cannabis, synthetic marijuana is a highly dangerous man-made chemical, created by spraying inert plant material with psychoactive chemicals. These products, often known as Spice or K2, can cause increased heart rate, hallucinations, agitation, vomiting, heart attacks, or seizures. Even worse, some batches of spice have been found to include toxic adulterants, including rat poison.

In some cases, spice users can become “walking zombies,” wandering out into traffic or otherwise putting themselves at risk. One bad batch sickened over 30 people in one Brooklyn neighborhood in 2016, and another batch sent several British schoolchildren to the hospital last year. One prison K9 dog even died after coming into contact with K2 that had been smuggled into an Alabama jail.

Two days previous to the soap dispenser discovery, Mohawk corrections officers busted an inmate with a smaller amount of spice. During a routine frisk and search, one inmate refused to remove his hands from his pockets. When officers moved to investigate, the inmate spit several plastic bundles from his mouth. Guards attempted to put the inmate in a body hold and force him to the floor, but before he could be restrained, he bit one of the officers and then swallowed one of the plastic bundles.

Officers were able to handcuff the inmate and move him to the infirmary, where staff were able to determine that the bundles contained synthetic marijuana. It is currently unknown whether or not the inmate was high on spice at the time of the search, but spice users have been known to bite cops or doctors trying to get them under control. The corrections officer who was bitten during the scuffle suffered a minor injury but was able to remain on duty.

Trying to smuggle spice into a soap dispenser may be one of the cleanest prison smuggling attempts on record, but it's certainly not the most creative one. Smugglers have been caught trying to move weed into prisons stashed inside food items like sub sandwiches or Kinder eggs, but some British smugglers went so far as to stash spice inside dead rats, which they tossed over prison walls.

Colombian law enforcement once busted drug smugglers who were trying to use pigeons to deliver weed and coke to local prisoners, and Nebraska cops foiled a more high-tech attempt to deliver drugs to a local jail using a drone. Other creative smugglers even figured out a way to soak children's books in liquid narcotics and mail them to inmates, but cops eventually busted them, too.

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Chris Moore
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Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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