CANTON — A Jameson Road woman who tried to sneak drugs into a Gouverneur prison in March received a lesson in the prison drug culture Wednesday in St. Lawrence County Court when she admitted to the crime in a plea deal.
Jessica A. Eckel, 25, of 11 Jameson Road, Lot 17, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree promoting prison contraband, the reduced second count of the Superior Court Information charging her with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and first-degree promoting prison contraband.
At about 9:05 a.m. on March 9 at the Gouverneur Correctional Facility, 112 Scotch Settlement Road, Gouverneur, Ms. Eckel brought 25 suboxone strips into the facility with the intention of sneaking them to an inmate.
She told the court that she didn’t make it past the check point in the prison, where a K9 Unit stopped and searched her, discovering the drugs.
County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards asked her where she got the drugs and she told him she bought it from Katie Loffler and was bringing them to someone she was in a relationship with. She said the inmate asked her to sneak the drugs in to the prison for him and that she was unaware of the severe nature of the crime.
Judge Richards told her the drug is like cash in the prison system’s underground drug culture and that suboxone strips are likely quartered, making the 25 she was trying to sneak in to prison more like 100, increasing its value and putting the people behind the walls of the prison in great danger.
As part of her plea deal, the judge said he would commit to sentencing her to no more than 90 days in the St. Lawrence County jail with five years of probation, however, if she complies with her release conditions, she could barter for a reduced sentence of just straight probation.
As part of those conditions, Ms. Eckel will not be allowed to visit any inmates in state or local detention facilities.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 30 and Ms. Eckel was released under probation supervision.