WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office says inmates have been getting the synthetic drug K2 mailed to them on sheets of paper and those inmates have been selling it to other inmates.
Sheriff Jeff Easter says seven jail inmates had adverse reactions in the past 24 hours. One of them had to be taken to the hospital for treatment. The adverse reactions range from vomiting to passing out to appearing to have drug-induced psychosis.
Easter says the people who were mailing the K2-laced papers learned that the sheriff’s office is not allowed to search legal paperwork and so they disguised it as legal paperwork.
“What we’re seeing is papers that are coming through the mail either in personal mail or legal mail, such as an attorney sending through legal mail and these papers are sprayed with a liquefied K2,” he said.
Easter says the inmates who got the K2 paper then sold it to other inmates.
“Charging between $10 for just an inch square of K2 up to $500 for a full sheet of K2,” he said.
The inmates used the K2-laced paper by lighting it and smoking it.
“Inmates are very creative in here,” Easter said. “If there’s anything that’s metal that they can put into a light socket to make a spark, they create a fire that way. And so we have done a bunch of things to our light sockets but yet again, you know, we have to still make sure that they’re treated humanely so you know coffee pots, those type of things, microwaves, those type of things are utilized inside the facility which requires an outlet. And so if there’s anything that they can break off that’s a piece of metal from the floor from our metal that surrounds the, all the cells and the doors, they take that and utilize it. I mean, that’s how they also at times are able to self tattoo is by utilizing those type of innovative ways to create fire.”
Easter says the investigation started in September and involved the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) which he says has also been having the same problem.
He says they identified two people who were responsible for sending the K2 paper to inmates. They issued warrants for their arrest. He says those two were found at a west Wichita motel and arrested. Easter says deputies also found what is believed to be dynamite in the motel and ATF is now involved.
“We believe that these two folks were sending it to Kansas Department of Corrections inmates and our inmates inside the facility here,” he said.
Sheriff Easter says that in all investigators intercepted more than 70 sheets of K2-laced paper. He said that sometimes the paper has obvious clues like stains or a waxy appearance. Other times, it does not.
“We’ve created some preventative measures to be put in place to start controlling the mail that comes in here for certain identified individuals that we know that have been running K2 through our facility,” he said.
Easter said that sometime in January, the jail will have all mail go to a third-party vendor to be scanned. From there, scanned copies will be sent to inmates.
Easter says jail pods were searched Thursday and several inmates have been identified as being part of distributing K2 in the jail. He also said they found more K2-laced paper which could bring the total to 90-100 sheets of the paper.
“The biggest issue that we always have inside the jail is safety and security, safety and security for the deputies that work inside of here and also the inmates. This created a big safety and security issue for us,” he said.