MOUNT VERNON — A Bellville man who smuggled drugs to a Knox County Jail inmate will have a 30-month prison sentence hanging over his head for the next two years.
Jayme V. Friend, 44, was sentenced Friday by Knox County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Wetzel to two years probation on one count of illegal conveyance of drugs of abuse onto the grounds of a detention facility, a third-degree felony that carried up to 36 months in prison. Wetzel further suspended a 30-month prison sentence, which may be imposed if Friend fails to stick with the terms of his probation.
The charge stems from Nov. 6, 2017, when Friend provided Sarah Christine, 32, with a small Bible containing Suboxone strips concealed inside. At the time, Christine was an inmate of the county jail.
It is believed Christine consumed the Suboxone before the illegal conveyance was discovered. The Suboxone was hidden inside of the Bible’s spine, according to court records.
Christine was also charged in the incident and sentenced to 24 months in prison.
Knox County Public Defender John Pyle, representing Friend, said that Friend has been working with the Freedom Center and his progress has been “steady throughout.” Pyle submitted a report from the Freedom Center and a letter from Friend’s employer to Wetzel for consideration at sentencing.
Friend, speaking in court, said the incident “has changed my life actually, it really woke me up.”
Wetzel said that the letter and report show that Friend has good support in his efforts toward rehabilitation. Continuing to work with the Freedom Center will be part of Friend’s probation, Wetzel said.