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Connecting the dots: foreign drugs coming to Mississippi through the mail

Courtesy of Stock Unlimited

A multi-agency investigation led to the arrest of an east central Mississippi woman last week for illegal drug importation.

The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agents arrested Lara Collins Beddingfield, 44, of Meridian when she accepted a package from the postal service that contained a foreign opiate, according to MBN Director John Dowdy.

Agents seized approximately 500 dosage units of a foreign version of the opiate tramadol 50mg, Director Dowdy said. The drugs were ordered online and shipped from India.

Earlier in July, an MBN sweep rounded up over 40 individuals who had been pushing pills in south Mississippi. Among them was a nurse practitioner who had over 6000 units of the same foreign version of tramadol, also shipped from India.

RELATED: MBN rounds up over 40 pill pushers

Director Dowdy told News Mississippi that the last 2 years have seen a substantial increase in both domestic and international packages containing narcotics and synthetic opioids.

“It’s really bad” said Dowdy. “I would estimate that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of packages with contraband destined for Mississippi. Unfortunately, due to manpower limitations we are missing a lot of packages.”

Beddingfield faces a charge of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.

Her arrest stems from an investigation by the MBN, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Postal Service and East Mississippi Drug Task Force.

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