27 arrested in jail drug smuggling investigation

PANAMA CITY — A year-long investigation of drug smuggling into the Bay County Jail has resulted in 27 arrests and more than 120 charges, with more expected, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday.

“We’re very pleased with the results of the investigation,” Sheriff Tommy Ford said. “It’s been a lot of hard work on the part of the investigators, to put this together over the last several months. But it’s definitely been a success. … We’ve been able to take down an organization that was supplying synthetic drugs in the community and introducing contraband into the jail.”

The investigation — dubbed You’ve Got Mail and considered unprecedented in its scope — began last year when “suspicious mail,” including the narcotic Suboxone, was covertly sent to inmates through contaminated cards. Initial envelopes were stained, which made BCSO suspicious, and subsequent letters allegedly were better prepared to hide the drugs

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