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Woman accused of sneaking drugs to prisoner at Clarenville courthouse

RCMP - SaltWire Network

CLARENVILLE, NL— Doris Lethbridge has been charged with trafficking cocaine at a provincial courthouse.

Anthony Soper, sentenced on Oct. 16, 2017 to four years, seven months in prison for the knifepoint robbery of a Clarenville taxi driver, was at the courthouse under police custody on the day he was sentenced.

He is facing a single-count charge of possessing cocaine.

Though the court information does not specify that the exchange took place at the courthouse, Clarenville RCMP confirmed the cases are connected, and that the alleged exchange took place at the courthouse during Soper’s court appearance.

Lethbridge, who was charged in the fall and is pleading not guilty, will stand trial May 14, while Soper will be returning to court for a status update March 1.

“In general terms, you try to keep people that are in custody separated from the general public,” said Clarenville RCMP Staff Sgt. Larry Turner.

“In some cases, you obviously have loved ones that want to say hi to their person and you allow that contact simply because they may have been away for a period of time.”

Turner explained that there’s many different ways an exchange could be done. Drugs or other objects could be dropped into a coat, or left in a room that has been vacated, or exchanged as two people hold hands.

“It could have happened anywhere,” he said of the alleged drug exchange. “We do try to take precautions and work with the court staff to ensure that the contact is as minimal as possible, and if there is something exchanged and it’s observed, we jump on it right away…”

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