Federal inmate convicted of conspiring with nurse to bring drugs into prison

A federal inmate faces more time behind bars after he was caught trying to smuggle prescription drugs into prison.

Steven W. Snook, 42, pleaded guilty to conspiring with a licensed practical nurse, Jenny Martin, 36, of Tilton, to bring Suboxone into the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois stated. Snook has also pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully attempting to obtain prison contraband.

Snook and Martin were attempting to sell the drugs to other inmates as a money-making ploy from October 2016 to May 2017, while Snook was in prison for a prior drug trafficking offense, the release stated. Martin would obtain the Suboxone strips illegally for $20 each and mailed them under the alias “Rachel Hall” to other inmates recruited by Snook. Snook instructed her on how to conceal the strips under the glued bottom flaps of envelopes.

In April 2017, prison officials discovered the plot and intercepted two pieces of mail with Suboxone strips inside, the release stated. An investigation revealed multiple wire transfers that Martin had received from Snook and others as payment for the Suboxone.

Martin has pleaded guilty for her role in the scheme and will be sentenced on Aug. 27 according to the release. Snook’s sentencing is set for Oct. 16. He faces up to 5 years imprisonment on each count, which by law must be served consecutively to the 262-month sentence he is still serving. Each count also carries a potential fine of up to $250,000.

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Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.