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Man posing as minister brought Bibles stuffed with drugs to NC jail, deputies say

James A. Morman III is accused of trying to smuggle contraband into the Scotland County Detention Center. Scotland County Sheriff’s Office photo
James A. Morman III is accused of trying to smuggle contraband into the Scotland County Detention Center. Scotland County Sheriff’s Office photo

A Bible-toting “pastor” ended up in handcuffs while visiting a North Carolina jail this week, after deputies determined he was really a drug dealer and his Bibles were stuffed with narcotics, according to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

James A. Morman III — the alleged minister — was arrested New Year’s Eve at the Scotland County jail in Laurinburg, NC according to a Facebook post by the department. Laurinburg is about 100 miles southeast of Charlotte.

“Just when you think you have heard and seen it all. A person shows up at the Scotland County Detention Center tonight impersonating a pastor to visit an inmate,” said a statement posted by Scotland County Sheriff Ralph Kersey. “Yes, you can visit and also stay for awhile.”

Scotland County detectives did not say what aroused their suspicions about 28-year-old Morman. However, a search of a Bible in his possession revealed it Suboxone Strips, said a sheriff’s office post.

Suboxone is prescription drug that is often used to treat opioid “cravings by not providing the same intense highs as other opiates,” says the site DrugFreeVA.org.

An inmate in the prison named Bryson Brown, 28, was arrested as part of the same investigation and faces the same charges, said the department’s Facebook post. His involvement was not explained.

Scotland County detectives said in the post that the two men were arrested as part of an undercover operation that involved the entire detention facility. The sweep found “a number of items” of contraband, including illegal substances, said a sheriff’s office Facebook post.

TV station WBTW reports Morman is a former inmate of the Scotland Correctional Institution, a state prison in the same county, where he served time for inflicting serious bodily injury and common law robbery.

SC Attorney General Alan Wilson describes the intricate plans prisoners used to get contraband into South Carolina prisons.

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