A Florida mom is now in the same jail as her daughter after being arrested for mailing her daughter drugs while the daughter was in jail. The 55-year-old mother, Nadine Carroll, is being charged with smuggling contraband into the jail, while her daughter, 27, was charged with possession of cocaine and driving on a suspended license approximately two weeks before her mother sent the drugs.
The Florida jail noticed that the envelope sent by Carroll had a chemical smell, and when they opened it, discovered a suspicious substance that turned out to be a type of synthetic opioid. Neither mother or daughter have commented on the situation, nor is it known whether either have retained counsel.
PSA: Prisons and Jails Go Through Inmate Mail
While opening another person's mail, or doing almost anything with another person's mail, is a federal crime, prison guards are generally allowed to open and read inmate mail that is both being sent and received. The one exception to this rule is for the mail an inmate sends to or receives from their lawyer. This mail, which frequently is stamped with the phrase 'legal mail' on the outside of the envelope, can only be opened if the guard suspects it is not really legal mail, and even then, it is not to be read, but rather skimmed.
It's not everyday that you hear about people being convicted of crimes involving the mail, other than identity theft. However the consequences for what sounds like minor violations can be severe. Stealing another person's mail can result in a five year federal prison sentence. Even failing to return mis-delivered mail to the post office is considered a federal crime that can be punished way more severely than you might expect.
However, certain things, like mailing drugs through the mail, is rather risky, and carries very strict penalties. Even in states that have legal marijuana, mailing it, even within the state, is highly illegal under federal law.