A Vermont couple was arrested last week after police officers discovered that they have been using their one-year-old child to smuggle drugs into jail.
According to the local Vermont Today, inmate Gregory Munukka Jr and his girlfriend Michelle L. Doaner were charged by the Vermont police after they found out that Munukka possessed four doses of the drug buprenorphine, immediately after a visit with his one-year-old child.
Upon further investigation, Vermont police determined that the couple used their infant child to deliver drugs to Munukka from the outside. According to the Vermont State Police, the couple used their own child to hide the drugs from jail guards, who wouldn't normally suspect an infant.
The child's name or gender has not been revealed and the child protection services has been alerted by the incident.
Detective Michael Notte says that there are conflicting accounts on whether the couple hid the drugs inside the infant's shoe or pockets. Nevertheless, he confirms that the drugs were found on the child.
Munukka Jr, who currently serves time for seven home burglaries in Vermont has been charged with possession of narcotics while Doaner faces three felony charges: dispensing narcotics, smuggling regulated drugs into a detention facility, and cruelty to a child under the age of ten.
Tom Giffin, assistant superintendent of the Rutland, Vermont jail says that although smuggling of drugs inside the facility has been commonly encountered in the past, instances of child smugglers are extremely rare. He admits that the Vermont prison does not screen prisoners - especially children - for drugs or other contraband.
"Most of the people who want to interact with their children don't want to risk losing that privilege by bringing in contraband,"He notes that the pattern of drug exchange inside the Vermont prison has become too similar with the common dealings outside.
Giffin says that prisoners of the Vermont jail are dealt with accordingly if they are found and proven to be involved with any kind of import or export of contraband. Disciplinary hearings are usually held to determine the appropriate sanctions that will be imposed on offending prisoners.
Heroin and opiates are currently on the rise in Vermont, and jails have been one of the hottest markets for these types of substances. Vermont governor Peter Shumlin believes that there is a "full-blown heroin crisis" in the state and that immediate action must be done to stifle the problem.
What should be the punishment for the Vermont couple accused of using their one-year-old child as a drug mule.