ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A New Mexico woman is accused of using a straw from a broom to pass drugs through the hole in a speaker that separated her from her inmate husband at a prison visitation room.
Mariana Montoya, who was with her young daughter, was arrested Thursday at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas, and charged with introduction of contraband into a prison and child endangerment.
Authorities believe that an orange-colored string connected to the piece of straw was laced with Suboxone, a narcotic used to treat heroin addicts.
Prison officials say her husband, Mario Montoya, 39, swallowed the item and refused to take a urine test. He faces contraband and drug charges.
Montoya currently is serving time at the facility for residential burglary and possession of a controlled substance.
Joe Garcia, warden for the Central New Mexico Corrections Department, said the attempt to smuggle drugs through the speaker was unique but not shocking since inmates are already trying new methods to get contraband.
"They keep coming up with innovative ways to get stuff through and we always have to keep our eyes open," Garcia said.
Garcia said prison officials have even caught family members trying to pass drugs inside balloons through a simple hug or kiss.
Garcia said the prison and authorities also found two knifes inside Mariana Montoya's vehicle. He said her daughter was taken into custody by officials with New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.
It was unclear if Mariana Montoya had an attorney.
In March, New Mexico Corrections Department officials intercepted letters sent through the mail and dipped in "spice" which were destined to inmates.
"Spice" is a psychoactive herbal that mimics the effect of marijuana when smoked.
Investigators found a 1-inch square of "spice paper" sold for $5 in prison, and about 25 squares could be obtained from a letter sized sheet of paper. Greeting cards were being sold as a whole for $250, officials said.