Woman accused of smuggling drugs to inmate in Bible, officials say

LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. — A Gaston County woman has been charged with trying to smuggle contraband to an inmate in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Captain Tim Johnson said a Bible was brought to the Detention Center for inmate Brandon Jackson Kirby, 34, of Ashe Street, Lowell, North Carolina, in the name of another inmate.

Detention Officer Jonathan Hawkins searched and examined the Bible for tobacco and illegal drugs.

Hawkins found an area that looked suspicious and found tobacco products packed in individual coffee packets. He also found the drug Suboxone, a Schedule III drug, in the Bible.

Johnson said during the investigation a portion of the Bible had been glued to prevent discovery of the items.

The investigation led to the inmate’s mother, Frances Lynn Ashe Melton, 54, of 315 Ashe Street, Lowell. She cooperated in the investigation and was arrested Wednesday on one felony count of providing drugs to an inmate and one misdemeanor count of providing a tobacco product to an inmate.

Melton didn't want to use a Bible with the words Holy Bible on the cover so she chose to use The Living Bible, investigators said.

"In this day and time, you don't take any chances on any material that's to be delivered to an offender," Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter said.

So officers thoroughly inspected it.

"The binder had some taping issues on it,” Carpenter said. “It really didn't look right."

Melton was placed under a $3,000 secured.

“She wasn’t really being too smart about it,” Carpenter said.