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Six charged after attempting to smuggle drugs into prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE:  September 16, 2016
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris- 610.891.4163

District Attorney Jack Whelan announced six separate arrests of individuals for attempting to bring contraband into the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Glen Mills.  The arrests span over five-months and are the result of collaborative investigations conducted by the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division and authorities with the George W. Hill Correctional Facility. The defendants have been charged with possession a controlled substance/contraband by an inmate, a felony of the second degree.

On May 11, Correctional Officer John Smarkola of the George W. Hill Correctional Facility was conducting a search of inmate Daniel Morroni, 23, after he was transferred to the main facility. During the search of the inmate’s clothing, C/O Smarkola found cigarettes and a glassine bag containing what was believed to be a controlled substance. The contents of the glassine bag were confirmed as K-2 synthetic cannabinoid. The items were immediately removed from inmate Morroni. 

On May 21, C/O Michael Miller was conducting a search of inmate Andre Carter, 33 in the visitation search room and found with a package containing K-2 synthetic cannabinoid wrapped in black electrical tape.  Inmate Carter admitted to C/O Miller that he had the drugs in his possession because he owed “people on his block” at the correctional facility.  

On July 24, a search was being conducted at the prison when Sgt. Josh Thamarus noticed inmate Elonzo Drayton, 30, attempting to conceal something down the front of his pants. When Sgt. Thamarus instructed him to remove the item, inmate Drayton handed over a milk carton containing two altered sweetener packets. The packets contained orange strips which were later confirmed as Suboxone by Det. Paul Corsi of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID).  

Aleta Henry, 35, is facing charges after she attempted to sneak prescription pills into the prison by concealing them in her genitals. On July 26, Sgt. Sean Gallagher of the George W. Hill Correctional Facility, received information that incoming inmate Aleta Henry may be in possession of prescription pills. When she arrived at the prison, a search was conducted by C/O Shandah Davis, C/O Christian Murrell and C/O Tia Rodriguez. 

During the search, correctional officers observed a white object in Henry’s genitals. When Henry was instructed to remove the object, pills fell to the floor from out of her genitals. Henry then attempted to put a handful of the pills into her mouth. C/O Davis was able to prevent Henry from ingesting the pills by grabbing her arm. Investigator Don Beese provided the evidence to CID Det. Paul Corsi. In total, authorities recovered 87 pills and one small glassine packet which were later confirmed as morphine sulphate and Endocet, both schedule II controlled substances. 

On August 1, inmate Michael Panichi, 25, was being prepared for transport to court. During a search, C/O Franklin Benson found a tan strip wrapped in clear plastic in Panichi’s shirt pocket. Following a search of the inmate’s cell, C/O Richard Wells and C/O John Smarkola found a sweetener packet containing five more strips which were turned over to Lt. Burke and provided as evidence to CID Det. Corsi who confirmed the strips as Suboxone. 

On September 3, C/O Mobley was observing the prison visitation room when he saw a visitor take an item out of a baby’s diaper and drop it to the floor. That individual then put her foot over the item in attempt to conceal the item. When C/O Mobley instructed the visitor to move her foot, he found a bundle of 56 Suboxone strips as well as tobacco.   That same day, CID Sgt. William Gordon and Det. Lisa DeMartini responded to the report of contraband at the prison and initiated an investigation. The visitor was identified as Ashlee Palma Seeback, 33, of Pennsauken, New Jersey. According to Seeback, she was visiting her baby’s father who is an inmate at George W. Hill Correctional Facility. She had also brought her one-year old daughter for the visitation. Ashlee Palma Seeback was arrested for possession of contraband and endangering the welfare of children. She was remanded to the prison after she failed to post $50,000 cash bail. 

“I would like to commend investigators and correctional officers at the George W. Hill Correction Facility for their immediate attention and response to these incidents,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan. “Bringing drugs into a correctional facility is a serious felony offense and those who attempt to do so here in Delaware County will be arrested and prosecuted.”