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LA attorney smuggled heroin to inmate in greeting card

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   April 12, 2013 at 7:33 AM   |   Comments

April 12 (UPI) -- Prosecutors charged an attorney for allegedly trying to smuggle heroin into an L.A. County jail inside a greeting card.

Stephen Beecher, 61, faces several felony counts including conspiracy, bringing drugs into jail and bringing a firearm into a jail, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The L.A. Times reports that Beecher's client, Jesus Antonio Duenas, 20, who is in custody on an attempted murder case, was also charged with two counts of conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty. Duenas's girlfriend, Jessica Paredes, 19, also pleaded not guilty to two criminal conspiracy counts.

In the criminal complaint, prosecutors allege Beecher told Duenas he would visit the North County Correctional Facility on Dec. 28.

The drugs were intended for Duenas and for “the Southside,” a criminal organization within the L.A. County jail system that controls drugs inside jails. Duenas' girlfriend “ironed and flattened” packages of heroin to fit inside a greeting card envelope and then gave Beecher the greeting card containing 36.09 grams of heroin, the complaint said.

Beecher was arrested on Dec. 28 in the visiting area of the North County jail with two packages of heroin worth more than $30,000, the complaint alleges.

If convicted, Beecher faces 11 years in state prison. Duenas and Paredes are facing nine years each in state prison.

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