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Former Jackson County public defender charged in heroin conspiracy

Woman allegedly smuggled drugs into MO prison
Prison Wire
Posted at 1:38 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 15:47:15-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A woman who was fired four years ago from her job as a mitigation specialist for the Jackson County Public Defender’s Office has now been charged in federal court with smuggling heroin into a Missouri prison.

Juliane Colby, 43, of Shawnee, was charged March 16 in a four-count indictment, which alleges she helped conspire to smuggle heroin into the Western Missouri Correctional Facility in Cameron.

The indictment was unsealed last week when she made her initial appearance in federal court.

Colby allegedly hid heroin and other contraband in an envelope marked “legal mail,” which included documents related to a criminal court case, to smuggle them into the prison from Aug. 1-10, 2019.

Colby allegedly mailed the envelope, which had a return address for a Harrisonville law firm, from a post office in Shawnee.

Federal authorities said Colby and a co-conspirator at the prison discussed a plan to smuggle in contraband during a series of coded phone conversations.

Colby has been charged with one count of conspiracy to traffic narcotics, one count of attempting to distribute heroin and two counts of using a communication facility, in this case the U.S. Postal Service and a cell phone, to traffic drugs.

Colby was fired from her job with the Jackson County Public Defender's Office in 2017 after allegedly communicating with the man awaiting trial for murder on a phone illegally smuggled into the Jackson County Detention Center.

She was accused of sending text messages, many sexually suggestive in nature, with Ce-Antonyo Kennedy, a then-19-year-old who was later convicted of second-degree murder in the 2015 death of a 15-year-old girl at a water park in south Kansas City, Missouri.

Colby was placed on diversion in 2018 as part of a plea agreement in the case.

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