Woman Waives Charges for Allegedly Taking State Prison Inmate Balloons Containing Marijuana

CLEARFIELD – A woman and inmate are facing charges after she allegedly delivered him balloons containing marijuana at the State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale.

Travonna Lynn Irons, 20, of Clairton has been charged by state police at Clearfield with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; contraband-controlled substance; intentional possession of a controlled substance; and marijuana-small amount for personal use.

Anthony Charles Ford, 31, has also been charged with possession of controlled substance-contraband/inmate; intentional possession of a controlled substance; marijuana-small amount for personal use; and manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver.

Irons waived the charges against her to court at her preliminary hearing Wednesday. Her bail was set at $5,000 unsecured. Ford’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 4 at SCI Houtzdale.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on March 5, 2016, a state trooper conducted an initial investigation in relation to Irons visiting Ford at SCI Houtzdale and taking him contraband.

While they were in the visitation room, staff observed Irons reach into her bra and put something in a candy bag. Then, Ford took something from the candy bag and put it in his mouth.

The guards ended the visit and Irons was escorted to the lobby. When the trooper arrived at the prison, an official turned over the candy package, which contained four small balloons that contained suspected marijuana.

During an interview, Irons told the trooper she had brought 10 small balloons full of marijuana. She said she hid them in her bra, put them in a candy bag and gave them to Ford while they were in the visitation room.

Ford allegedly took them from the candy bag and began to swallow them. Several days before, she had received a phone call from an unknown male who warned that if she didn’t take drugs to Ford, she would be killed, Irons told the trooper.

According to information received by state police from SCI Houtzdale, Ford had been placed in a dry cell on March 6, 2016. He defecated and six latex fingertips of an unknown substance were found. A NIK test revealed it was marijuana.

During an interview March 9, 2016, Ford told state police “she brought it in. It was a first time thing, and you guys got it all.” He allegedly admitted that it was marijuana.

According to Ford, he was going to “put it out on the market” to make some money for himself. He said he didn’t know who he was going to give it to, and if he couldn’t make any money, he probably would have just smoked it.

Ford told state police that he wasn’t going to say who brought it in. He said: “We (state police) know who it was.”

State police sent the evidence to the Erie Crime Laboratory. According to the affidavit, the vegetable matter contained marijuana.

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