Tanya Baird, 46, of South Africa, appeared in federal court this week
According to an affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint, Baird obtained K2 from China and saturated legal documents with the substance in South Africa before mailing the papers to the United States.
For example, in June 2021, Baird allegedly mailed at least eight packages each containing 30 pieces of saturated paper to an inmate in an Ohio prison.
It is alleged that another individual sometimes received packages from Baird containing legal privileged documents that were saturated in K2. The individual would then send the legal documents into Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction facilities and collect proceeds from inmates. The proceeds were then allegedly sent to Baird via CashApp or PayPal.
In total, import records showed 69 packages being sent into the United States from June through August 2021, 34 of which were destined for the Southern District of Ohio. Multiple recipients of the packages from Baird had been in communication with or attended visits with current Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction inmates.
“Today’s arrest would not have happened without the cooperation and professionalism of our law enforcement partners, especially with the FBI,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Kent Kleinschmidt. “Synthetic drugs are extremely dangerous because their use can lead to very erratic behavior and even death. They absolutely have no place in our society, but are especially problematic inside a correctional facility.”
Baird is charged with importing controlled substances, a federal crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.