Sheriff's Department arrests man for allegedly mailing marijuana to a county inmate

Thursday, May 15, 2014

CHARLESTON, Mo. -- It's a bad idea to mail marijuana to the county jail, but the deputies appreciate it when you provide the evidence needed to arrest you.

Lenard La'troy Duncan, 30, of Mound City, Illinois, is charged with distribution of a controlled substance after deputies say he mailed marijuana to the Mississippi County Detention Center.

Mississippi County Sheriff Keith Moore said the investigation began earlier this month when deputy Cory Hutcheson noticed "Charleston" misspelled on a piece of incoming mail purportedly sent from a local lawyer's office to a Mississippi County inmate. After verifying the letter was not from the attorney, Hutcheson opened the package and found it contained marijuana wrapped in a bank statement and other documents addressed to Duncan.

"Duncan had been jailed only a week prior on unrelated charges and had shared a cell during that time with the person to whom the package was addressed," Moore said in a news release.

Upon further investigation, Hutcheson learned the intended recipient had called Duncan twice shortly after Duncan's release. In the first call, the inmate reminded Duncan to mail the package and in the second, Duncan confirmed it had been sent, the sheriff said.

Duncan was contacted to come to the sheriff's department Tuesday morning for a voluntary interview.

"To the deputy's surprise, Duncan agreed and then showed up as scheduled," Moore said. "During that recorded interview, Deputy Hutcheson developed probable cause to believe Duncan had mailed the narcotics to the Mississippi County Detention Center."

Duncan was subsequently arrested for distribution of a controlled substance, which is punishable by up to 15 years in jail. Duncan posted his $25,000 bond Wednesday morning.

"There's a never-ending struggle between inmates who seek out contraband and corrections staff who work to keep contraband out of the jail," Moore said.

"This isn't the first time I've intercepted contraband mailed into the facility," Hutcheson said. "But this is the first time the sender provided evidence of his identity in the letter."

The sheriff said the case remains under investigation and additional charges are likely.

Pertinent address:

Mississippi County Detention Center, Charleston, Mo.

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