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75-year-old charged in tobacco-smuggling jail caper

by Paul Darst

STAFF WRITER

A 75-year-old Clarksburg woman has been accused of trying to smuggle tobacco into a jail, Harrison County officials said.

Magistrate court records show Virginia B. White, 75, of 108 Osage Court, was charged with attempting to smuggle tobacco into the Harrison County Correct-ional Center.

Chief corrections officer Paul Knotts said the arrest was made on March 7 after corrections officers received a tip about the alleged smuggling plan.

"We had a tip that it was supposed to happen between 11 (p.m.) and 12:30 (a.m.) during our shift change," Knotts said.

That night, officers found an open window at the jail, where they watched and waited, Knotts said. Shortly after 11 p.m., White allegedly appeared and sat on a bench on Court Street beside the jail, Knotts said.

After she sat down, an inmate allegedly threw a rope out the window to her, he said. White then proceeded to tie a sock stuffed with four pounds of loose tobacco to the rope so the inmate could pull it into the jail, Knotts said.

"When she picked up the rope, that's when we arrested her," Knotts said.

Inmates' families allegedly contacted White about taking the tobacco to the jail, Knotts said. Tobacco products are not allowed in the Harrison County jail.

It was not disclosed how much White was paid for the alleged deal.

"From what I understand, the families would bring money to her house, and she would bring the tobacco to the jail," Knotts said.

It was not reported how many inmates were involved, or how many times White allegedly had taken tobacco to the jail.

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