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12 Charged After Drug-Infused Paper, Ink, Envelopes Detected In Larimer Inmates' Mail

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) -- Nine male inmates and three female accomplices have been charged following the takedown of a drug trafficking organization that provided illicit drugs to inmates through their incoming mail.

Investigators discovered paper soaked in narcotics, ink on the paper infused with narcotics, and narcotics hidden in the seams of commercially available envelopes, authorities stated in a joint press release.

Fentanyl, methamphetamine, and Suboxone strips were found in the mail sent to various inmates.

More arrests are expected.

"Operation Arts and Crafts" was initiated at the Larimer County Jail in March after the surface of one inmate's envelope tested positive for meth. Jail staff began additional surveillance after noticing an increase in suspicious activity through inmates' communications that appeared to contain coded language.

The search warrants were executed Friday. Jail deputies searched the housing areas of those inmates who were believed to be involved in the drug organization.

At the same time, investigators searched a house in the 400 block of East 57th Street just outside of the Loveland city limits.

Evidence was found at both the house and in the inmates' cells, per the press release.

The agencies who took part in "Operation Arts and Crafts" included the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, Fort Collins Police Services, Loveland Police Department, Windsor Police Department, Colorado Adult Parole, and the 8th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

The nine arrests at the jail:

  • Brian Scott Willert, 45 years old – Charged with 2 counts 2nd degree introduction of contraband (Class 6 Felony), 2 counts conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (Drug Felony Class 4), and conspiracy to commit money laundering (Class 4 Felony).
  • Shawn Adolf Chapman, 47 – 2nd degree conspiracy to introduce contraband (F6), conspiracy to commit money laundering (F4), and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (DF4).
  • Tappan Daniel Smith, 38 – 2nd degree introduction of contraband (F6) and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (DF4).
  • Jaime Omar Rodriguez, 28 – 2nd degree conspiracy to introduce contraband (F6), conspiracy to commit money laundering (F4), and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (DF4).
  • Jose Guadalupe Barraza, 24 – 2nd degree introduction of contraband (F6) and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (DF4).
  • Stephen Darwin McNeil, 21 – 2nd degree conspiracy to introduce contraband (F6).
  • Joshua Edward Puls, 38 – 2nd degree introduction of contraband (F6), 2 counts conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (DF3), and conspiracy to commit money laundering (F4).
  • Edward Joseph Bergenske, 21 – 2nd degree introduction of contraband (F6).
  • Kenneth K. George, 37 – possession of contraband (F6).

The three alleged accomplices:

  • Kathy Ann Rains-Wilson, 48, of Loveland – 2 counts 2nd degree introduction of contraband (F6), conspiracy to commit money laundering (F4), and 2 counts conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (DF3).
  • Josephine Hannah Haggard, 21, of Fort Collins – 2nd degree introduction of contraband (F6), conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (DF4), and criminal impersonation (Class 1 Misdemeanor).
  • Alexa Ann Coria, 28, of Fort Collins (arrested May 28) – 2nd degree conspiracy to introduce contraband (F6), conspiracy to commit money laundering (F4), and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (DF4).

Lastly, the jail declared all personal inmate mail including letters, pictures, and drawings will be digitally scanned and delivered to inmates via tablets beginning June 1.

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