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Burlington Reporter

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Officer, inmates at North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women charged in drug smuggling ring

Local Government

By James Ledbetter | Dec 20, 2019

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North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women | North Carolina Department of Public Safety

A correctional officer who works for the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women was one of nine people recently charged with trafficking Schedule III controlled substances into the facility. 

The individuals were allegedly part of a statewide drug distribution network that focused on getting narcotics into state prisons, the Alamance County Sheriff's Office said.

Lauren Del Zimmerman, a correctional officer who lives in Cameron, was charged with felony conspiracy to sell and deliver the controlled substances within the correctional facility, according to an ABC affiliate.

Besides Zimmerman, the others charged include: Samuel Lee Perkins of Burlington; Ashleigh Morgan, 28, from Rocky Mount; Tyler Lee Orr, 22, of Burlington; Everette Gerard McCandies, 56, of Burlington; Allison Mae Craft, 29, of Ellenboro; Julie Haskins, 30, of New Bern; Tracy Louise Pruitt Cochran, 46, of Eden; and Lisa Marie Harmon, 37, of Vilas.

Craft, Haskins, Pruitt Cochran and Harmon are all inmates at the facility. Perkins was identified as the alleged ring leader of the group. 

Two of the drugs allegedly being smuggled, Suboxone and Adderall, are well-known problems in the area, ABC reported

Suboxone is a dangerous opioid that is used to treat heroin addiction, according to American Addiction Center. However, improper, unsupervised use can also lead to severe dependency. Adderall is an amphetamine, which is often prescribed to children who have attention deficit disorder. The drug slows them down and helps them concentrate on their studies. When taken by someone without an attention-deficit disorder, the drug speeds the abuser up. 

There have been deaths related to both of the substances.  

Based on the information uncovered by investigators, Suboxone, which comes in strips, sells for  $200 to $300 in prison.

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North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women

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