Woman facing charges for allegedly smuggling drugs into Houtzdale state prison

A Harrisburg woman is facing charges for allegedly smuggling oxycodone and synthetic marijuana into the state prison in Houtzdale.

Mariah Shenell Mitchell, 26, was charged with felony counts of manufacture/delivery/possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance-contraband/inmate, as well as a misdemeanor count of intentional possession of controlled substance.

The charges stem from an incident on May 27 at the prison when she allegedly brought in several small balloons containing Percocet and K2 that she passed to an inmate.

The inmate, Eric Harden, 30, is also charged with intentional possession of a controlled substance.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, a corrections officer saw Harden swallow suspected contraband while he was visiting with Mitchell. When she was interviewed by police, she admitted she brought in small balloons containing the drugs.

Mitchell said she kept the contraband hidden in a pocket. Harden reached into that pocket, removing the balloons.

Harden was placed in a dry cell and monitored. A few days later, five small red balloons were found in his feces, investigators said. The balloons were sent to the crime lab and analyzed. They contained various amounts of oxycodone and synthetic marijuana, according to the report.

Mitchell’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 22 during centralized court at the county jail and Harden’s hearing is April 4 at the prison.