Woman Sentenced for Smuggling Drugs into San Diego County Jail via USPS

5/10/24 – A woman who mailed drug-laced letters to a San Diego County jail has been sentenced to three years in a federal prison.

On May 6, a federal judge sentenced Katherine Smothers (DOB 07/25/1989) to 36 months behind bars.

In April 2023, Sheriff’s Detectives arrested Smothers in Santee. She was charged with bringing drugs into a jail, trying to sell a controlled substance to an individual in custody and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Between December 2022 and April 2023, deputies assigned to the Sheriff’s Mail Processing Center (MPC) intercepted several letters intended for an individual at the George Bailey Detention Facility in Otay Mesa. They noticed the letters had the appearance of being soaked in an unknown liquid and dried.

Deputies tested the letters and found they had been soaked in liquid methamphetamine and fentanyl.

The Sheriff’s Detention Investigations Unit, with the assistance of the Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Fentanyl Abatement and Suppression Team (FAST), began a criminal investigation. It was determined Smothers had mailed the drug-soaked letters to a county jail.

The Sheriff’s Department is proud to be a partner agency of FAST. This multi-agency task force led by HSI in conjunction with state and local agencies targets significant fentanyl distributors in San Diego County.

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