CLEARFIELD – A Philadelphia woman accused of passing off a cookie bag containing balloons of marijuana to an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale waived her right to a preliminary hearing during Centralized Court on Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.
Maria I. Rivera, 33, of Philadelphia has been charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; contraband/controlled substance; and intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered. Her bail is currently set at $100,000 unsecured.
San Miguel Martinez, 34, an inmate at SCI-Houtzdale, has been charged with possession of a controlled substance-contraband/inmate and intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered. He also waived his preliminary hearing, and his bail is set at $25,000 monetary for the case.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on June 15, the security office issued an advisory via e-mail to monitor Rivera when she visited Martinez, as she was expected to bring contraband into SCI-Houtzdale. When Rivera arrived in the visitation room, a correctional officer was assigned to monitor the visit from the CCTV in the officer’s station.
During her visit, Rivera was observed reaching into her pants pocket and transferring an unknown object into a “Grandma’s Mini Sandwich Creme Cookie” bag. Then, Martinez was observed reaching inside the bag and removing an unknown object. He put it in his mouth and appeared to have difficulty swallowing it. After that, Martinez was detained and placed in a dry cell.
The same day, officials interviewed Martinez and he admitted to having five balloons of marijuana and that he’d ingested them. Rivera also admitted that she’d entered SCI-Houtzdale with marijuana and passed it onto Martinez.
On June 26, Martinez reported he needed to defecate, which he did and the feces were removed from the cell. Upon searching the feces, officials discovered five, dime-sized balloon bags of suspected marijuana. The substance contained with the bags was taken to the administrative office to be photographed, weighed and tested. The substance tested positive for marijuana and weighed 3 grams.
Officials took the contraband to the control center to be secured in an evidence locker. On June 28, state police met with officials at SCI-Houtzdale and collected the contraband items. These items included five, dime-sized spheres of suspected marijuana, a clear condom and the cookie bag. State police transported the contraband to the Woodland barracks and entered them in as evidence.
On Aug. 9, the suspected marijuana was sent to the Erie Crime Lab for further analysis.