A Hamblen County woman has been charged with introducing contraband into the Hamblen County Jail in connection with an alleged botched effort to smuggle in Suboxone and tobacco on Sept. 4, even though she didn’t set foot in the jail until Thursday afternoon, authorities say.
Heather Fekeith, 41, Shields Ferry Road, allegedly wrapped the Suboxone and tobacco in black tape and placed it on top of a tire of a sheriff’s department transport cruiser that was parked outside the Morristown-Hamblen Hospital emergency room, according to Deputy Josh Marsee, jail investigator and field training officer.
The alleged plan to get the contraband to her boyfriend, 35-year-old inmate Joseph Harris, however, wasn’t nearly that simple, according to Marsee.
Harris intimidated another inmate, Kerry Strickland, into doing his dirty work. Harris used a razor to cut Strickland’s lip at an appointed hour, and Fekeith was waiting near the emergency room entrance when Strickland arrived for treatment, according to the jail investigator.
Fekeith completed her part of the convoluted mission by placing the bundle above the rear driver-side tire, but Deputy Aaron Sinkhorn was watching when Strickland retrieved the would-be contraband, according to Marsee, who did not charge Strickland.
Deputy Sgt. David Cribley took Strickland into custody around 2 p.m. Thursday at her apartment on Shields Ferry Road.