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Ridley Park women faces charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE:  Jan. 12, 2015
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris- 610.891.4163

Media, Pa – A Ridley Park woman who smuggled drugs in her bra into the George W. Hill Correctional Facility on Christmas Day is facing felony drug charges.  

Samantha Herko, 33, is charged with furnishing controlled substance contraband to an inmate, a felony of the second degree, and possession charges in violation of the controlled substance act.  John Matthews, 33, an inmate at George W. Hill Correctional Facility, faces contraband charges, a felony of the second degree. 

On Dec. 25, 2014, shortly after 8:00 pm, Herko arrived at the prison to visit John Matthews who was incarcerated on a drug-related probation violation. Prior to the visit, while inside the prison, Correctional Officer Carolyn Knoll searched Herko. During the search, eight white pills of suspected Tramadol, a narcotic painkiller, packaged in a clear plastic saran wrap, fell from Herko’s bra. Correctional officers then searched Herko’s 2006 Toyota with assistance from K-9 “Brita” and found an empty ten pill blister packet, marked Tramadol in the console area of the vehicle. Herko later admitted to purchasing the Tramadol pills from an online website, without a doctor’s prescription. She also admitted to bringing the drugs into the prison but denied they were for Matthews.

Det. Ken Bellis of the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division (CID), who led the investigation, obtained prison tapes of outgoing calls made by Matthews, which contained numerous telephone conversations between Matthews and Herko. During one of their conversations, Matthews instructed Herko how to package the drugs in saran wrap, keeping it small, like a “little bullet.” Other calls indicated that Herko was successful in smuggling Tramadol pills into the prison on at least two occasions including the Dec. 25, 2014 incident.

Samantha Herko was arraigned on Feb. 2, 2015 and posted $1,000 bail. John Matthews remains incarcerated. Both have a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 26.