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13-180 Three Arrested For Smuggling Suboxone Into The Pinellas County Jail; Substance Introduced Via US Mail Concealed Behind Stamps

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Detention and Corrections Bureau
-Detention Investigations Unit

Kaitlyn Pergola (Arrested/Gavin’s Girlfriend)
DOB: 05/20/1984
Address: 10543 Portofino Circle, Trinity FL
Arrested for two counts introduction/possession of contraband in a county detention facility; VOP doctor shopping.

David Michael Gavin (Arrested)
DOB: 06/22/1983
Address: Inmate Pinellas County Jail (Transferred to Jefferson County Jail, FL on Aug 1, 2013)
Arrested for introduction/possession of contraband in a county detention facility.

Jermonte Russell Rushing (Arrested/ Gavin’s Cellmate)
DOB: 07/30/1982
Address: Inmate Pinellas County Jail
Arrested for introduction/possession of contraband in a county detention facility.

What:
Deputies have arrested a Trinity woman after she concealed suboxone strips behind stamps on envelopes and mailed them to two inmates at the Pinellas County. The inmates in turn distributed and sold the controlled substance to other Pinellas County Jail inmates. Since the investigation began on August 1, 2013, deputies intercepted a total of 11 pieces of mail containing the opiate.

When:
The investigation began on August 1, 2013.

Where:
The investigation was conducted at the Pinellas County Jail.

Why/How:
On August 1, 2013, 30-year-old inmate David Michael Gavin was being prepared for transport and transfer to the Jefferson County Jail. Investigators say detention deputies began to grow suspicious when Gavin began to ask every deputy and jail employee he saw or passed to help him get his mail.

Mail room clerks were asked to examine Gavin’s mail more closely. Four pieces of stamped mail were initially found addressed to Gavin and closer examination of the pieces revealed small square pieces of orange paper concealed behind each of the stamps.

The contents of the envelopes were provided to the inmate for his transport to Jefferson County; and detectives retained the envelope and began their investigation to identify the substance behind the stamps.

Through their subsequent investigation, detectives discovered additional pieces of mail addressed to Gavin; as well as other pieces of mail addressed to 30-year-old inmate Jermonte Rushing, which had the same type of orange paper concealed behind the stamps and appeared to have similar handwriting to the letters addressed to Gavin.

Research and testing of the “orange paper” determined the substance to be suboxone or “heroin in a breath strip.” Detectives further described the substance to be an opiate in the form of a sublingual film.

The investigation further revealed that Gavin recruited his cell mate Rushing to have the mail sent to him in exchange for payment; and that the two  sold/distributed the contraband to other inmates at the Pinellas County Jail. Investigators say that each stamps was sold for $20; and that each stamp was five dosage units if cut into five individual strips.

Through their investigation, detectives were able to identify Kaitlyn Pergola as the source of supply of suboxone to Gavin and Rushing. Detectives say she used two fictitious return addresses that were later connected to her.

Pergola was arrested on August 19, 2013. During her interview with Sheriff’s Office detectives, Pergola admitted to the crime. She was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident.

Since the investigation began on August 1, 2013, detectives intercepted a total of 11 pieces of mail containing the controlled substance.

The investigation continues.

Kaitlyn Pergola

Kaitlyn Pergola

 

David Michael Gavin

David Michael Gavin

 

Jermonte Russell Rushing

Jermonte Russell Rushing

 

 

 

 

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