Sheriff: Pair used meth-laced postage stamps to smuggle drugs into Manatee jail

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Deputies have arrested two people accused of smuggling meth into the Manatee County Jail by using drug-laced postage stamps.

The sheriff's office said 52-year-old Kena Little, an inmate at the jail, wanted to have drugs brought in so she could get high.

The message on a postcard sent to a Manatee County jail inmate reads like a love letter: "Show me what love is. Today, tomorrow and the rest of my life."

But those words of love appear to have been a cover-up for a meth-smuggling operation between inmate Kena Little and her boyfriend on the outside, 57-year-old Charles Ricker, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Manatee County deputies had their suspicions that Ricker was going to try to smuggle something into the jail. So when postcards arrived at the jail, the staff took some extra time to look at the stamp in the right-hand corner of the letters. They were just a little too easy to peel back, investigators said.

“The communication is being monitored. That’s no secret,” said Randy Warren with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. “There was something about the stamps that was a little bit suspicious.”

When they sent the stamps off to the lab each one tested positive for meth.

“Whatever they had put on the backside of the stamp was probably keeping it from sticking to the postcard properly,” Warren said. “We know that a lot of people in our jail are still very much craving drugs and things. We want to help these people get help. What we can’t have is people trying to send in drugs through our mail system.”

The love letter ended up being toxic. Ricker ended up in jail, himself. Little never got what she wanted and deputies say to let this be an example: don't try it.

“It is a crime. You will get caught and you will end up in jail yourself,” Warren said.