By William Moore
TUPELO – A Lee County couple learned that the Good Book is not a good place to hide drugs, especially if you are trying to sneak them into a jail.
Courtney Ford, 30, of Nettleton, is accused of hiding methamphetamine in the binding of a Holy Bible and dropping it off March 16 for inmate Stephen Jason Estes, 41, of Plantersville.
“We search every item that is brought into the jail, and the property officer noticed something wrong. There was a bulge in the back cover of the Bible,” said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson. “We cut it open and found a powdery substance.”
A local drug lab determined the sample was meth and another unknown substance. A second sample was sent to the state crime lab. Officials believe the couple conspired to bring the drugs into the jail.
“We know he knew about it because that day, he kept asking where his Bible was, even before she dropped it off,” Johnson said.
Ford was charged with possession of a controlled substance and attempt to introduce contraband into a correctional facility. Justice Court Judge Chuck Hopkins set her bond at $75,000. She was out on bond for a possession of a controlled substance when she was arrested.
Estes was in jail because he was convicted last week in circuit court to trafficking more than 30 grams of methamphetamine. He was sentenced to 40 years with 34 suspended. He was awaiting transfer to a state prison when this came up.
“We hope to carry him back before the judge to have his sentence reconsidered,” Johnson said. “The judge could reinstate the 34 years and make him serve all 40 years.”
Estes’ bond on the new charge was set at $30,000.