Bible held drugs, county officials say
Two people are accused of trying to smuggle drugs to a Baxter County jail inmate using a Bible, authorities said.
In a news release, the Baxter County sheriff’s office said a man went to the county jail Aug. 1 to deliver the book to Mikel Blaine Short, 45. The Bible was taken by a jail supervisor, who reportedly found drugs, including suspected methamphetamine, marijuana and tobacco inside the binding in vacuum-sealed bags.
Using video from the jail, authorities identified the man who took the Bible to the jail as Kevin Eugene Burch, 31, the release said. Further investigation revealed that Burch and Short planned the crime with a third person, 28-yearold Cynthia Marie Piatt, the sheriff’s office said.
Piatt was arrested Tuesday at a home on Baxter County Road 508, authorities said. While investigators were at her home, she reportedly gave 25.1 grams of meth to a 17-year-old girl to hide, but the handoff was discovered and the drugs were seized.
Piatt was booked into the Baxter County jail Tuesday afternoon and faces multiple charges, including furnishing prohibited articles, two counts of delivery of methamphetamine, conspiracy to furnish prohibited articles and unlawful use of a communications device. She is being held in lieu of $75,000 bond and is to appear in court today.
Short, who was being held at the jail while space opened up at the Arkansas Department of Correction, now faces additional charges of conspiracy to furnish prohibited articles and unlawful use of a communications device. He also has a court appearance set for today.
The news release said Burch, who has been booked into the Baxter County jail 20 times since 2004, remained at large Wednesday.