Ohio Inmate Sends Letter to Wrong Zip Code, Gets Drug Trafficking Charges

By Kamika Dunlap on April 07, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Maybe Ohio inmate Donald Dudrow III will think twice before sending out jail mail. He was convicted on drug trafficking charges after trying to send a pen pal letter to his mother labeled with the wrong zip code.

The Ohio inmate, Donald Dudrow III, was convicted of sending detailed instructions to his mother on how to sneak drugs into the prison, the Port Clinton News Herald reports.

His letter described how to obtain Fentanyl patches and the name and phone number of a drug dealer. The Ohio inmate wrote directions for how to extract the narcotic painkiller from the patches and how to mail it to him at the detention facility. 

As a result, a grand jury indicted him on charges of attempted drug trafficking and trying to get drugs into a correctional facility. Officials say he sketched several how-to illustrations in the letter.

Authorities caught on to Dudrow when his letter was returned to the prison U.S. Postal Service. Corrections staff then read all incoming mail, as is customary.

Trying to sneak in cigarettes is more common than attempting to sneak drugs into the Ottawa County Detention Facility, officials said.

Dudrow was already in jail on a probation violation. Now, he also faces attempted drug trafficking, conspiracy to attempt to convey drugs into a correctional facility, and conspiracy to attempt possession of drugs.

In general, drug trafficking laws penalize the selling, transportation, and illegal import into the United States of unlawful controlled substances such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, and heroin.

Typically, federal and state drug distribution/trafficking laws and punishments vary according to drug type, amount, and geographic area of distribution.

Dudrow was indicted on two felony charges and one misdemeanor charge. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

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