ST. GABRIEL, LA (WAFB) - Investigators say they stopped a drug drop headed for a local prison Tuesday night, and the suspect has done this before.
Officials with the Department of Corrections (DOC) say April R. Matthews, 25, of Jackson, Louisiana, was caught dropping off a large package filled with contraband in the parking lot of the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center.
DOC officials say this isn’t the first time Matthews has done this either. They say she tried to smuggle various contraband into Angola while she was working there in May of 2017. She then resigned and was booked by the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office. In that incident, Matthews was reportedly found with the following items in her car during a routine shakedown:
- Ecstasy pills
- Synthetic marijuana
- 16 cell phones
- Tobacco products
- $511 in cash
Matthews reportedly fled from DOC employees when they approached her in the parking lot. As she fled, she reportedly hit two parked cars, then rammed a DOC unit that had tried to block her exit. Matthews then fled the prison at a high rate of speed and headed down Highway 74 towards Gonzales, officials say. She was later stopped by corrections officers, the St. Gabriel Police Department, and the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“We’ve been fighting contraband introduction into the prison system for a lot of years. We’ve added a lot of scanners and body scanners to try to fight this. Now it’s getting to the point where they’re having drop-offs made,” said Warden Tim Hooper.
DOC says the package she was trying to smuggle into the prison contained:
- 103.63 g of marijuana
- 30 strips of Suboxone
- 90 pain pills
- 12 cell phones
- 9 cell phone charges
- 4 SIM cards
- 12 packs of Buglar cigarettes
- 1-gallon bag of loose tobacco
- Pair of Air Jordan tennis shoes
- Cigarette lighters
- Rechargeable batteries
Matthews is charged with the following:
- Possession with the intent to distribute marijuana
- Possession of schedule III narcotics
- Possession with the intent to distribute legend drug
- Introduction of contraband into a penal institution
- Attempted aggravated battery
- Simple criminal damage to property
“I commend our hardworking Elayn Hunt Correctional staff for the great job they do in keeping this prison safe and secure. Today’s successful operation is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our employees to keep contraband out of our prison,” Hooper said.