Mentone woman accused of sneaking drugs into Kosciusko County Jail

(photo supplied / Kosciusko County Jail)

A Mentone woman was arrested after allegedly trying to sneak drugs to her boyfriend in the Kosciusko County Jail through a lotion bottle in January.

Three others, including her boyfriend, also are facing charges in the case.

19-year-old Taylor Brandon is facing charges of dealing methamphetamine; aiding, inducing, or causing trafficking with an inmate; possession of methamphetamine; and possession of a synthetic drug or synthetic drug look-alike substance.

On Jan. 5, the jail nurse, Michelle Moody, discovered contraband inside a large bottle of body lotion that had been brought into the jail for 20-year-old inmate Rhydeem Hudson of Warsaw, according to court documents. Inside the bottle, Moody discovered four plastic bags that contained a plantlike material and a white rock-like substance. A Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department Deputy then took possession of the contraband.

The deputy identified the plantlike material in three of the bags as a synthetic drug look-alike substance, and the white rock-like substance in the other bag field tested positive for methamphetamine.

Officers learned that on Jan. 4, 20-year-old Donta Redden of Winona Lake had brought a bottle of lotion into the Kosciusko County Jail and delivered it to jail officer Travis Nicholas for inmate Hudson. Surveillance video of Redden bringing the lotion to the jail was obtained.

Officers also collected recorded phone calls made Jan. 3 from Hudson to his girlfriend, Brandon. During the calls, Hudson and Brandon discuss bringing drugs into the jail in a lotion bottle. Hudson then has 37-year-old inmate Darrel Spice speak with Brandon on where to go and who to talk to, to obtain the drugs. He also tells her his uncle, Terry Dean Wagner – no age or address provided – would take Brandon to Elkhart to purchase the drugs, according to the court documents.

In recorded phone calls from Spice to Wagner, they talk about Wagner obtaining methamphetamines and giving them to Brandon for Spice.

There also were recorded phone conversations between Hudson and Brandon about the drug purchase, and Hudson is on the phone with Brandon when the drug purchase is occurring, the documents state. There’s talk about how much money to spend, how much weight to buy and what the product looks like. Hudson also speaks with Wagner on the recorded line during the drug purchase, according to the court documents.

During a recorded phone call, Hudson and Brandon talk about how to package the drugs and the size of the bottle of lotion to be purchased. Brandon tells Hudson the methamphetamines are inside the same package as the other drugs. Brandon then states she is on her way to meet with Redden at a local fast-food restaurant to deliver the bottle of lotion that contains the drugs.

On Jan. 4, Hudson tells Brandon he did not receive the lotion from the jail staff and that they are onto him. Hudson and Brandon deny knowing Redden after they had talked about him during previous occasions, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Hudson faces two counts stemming from this case, including aiding, inducing or causing dealing in methamphetamines, a level 5 felony; and aiding, inducing or causing trafficking with an inmate, a level 5 felony. At his initial hearing in Kosciusko Circuit Court, he asked for a public defender, and his final pretrial conference was set for April 16.

Redden faces three counts – trafficking with an inmate; possession of methamphetamine; and possession of a synthetic drug or synthetic drug look-alike substance. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

Spice’s pretrial hearing is set for 3 p.m. April 9 in Kosciusko County Circuit Court for a count of aiding, inducing or causing dealing in methamphetamine.