Oceano woman arrested for mailing addiction withdrawal drugs

June 1, 2014

Linda Vanessa JohnsA 25-year-old Oceano woman was arrested earlier this month for mailing addiction withdrawal drugs to an inmate at the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department County Jail Honor Farm.

Deputies arrested Linda Vanessa Johns for sending a controlled substance to a jail and criminal conspiracy after several pieces of mail addressed to the inmate were found to contain Suboxone. Strips of Suboxone were hidden under the stamps on the mail.

The recipient of the drug, Thomas Richard Rodriguez, 26, of Grover Beach, was also arrested on the same charges.

Suboxone is an expensive drug used for the treatment of opiate addiction. While it helps with withdrawals and addiction, it does not give users the drugged effect of methadone.


I have been in recovery for alcoholism for a number of years, but I have had my fair share of time in the Grey Bar Hotel (647f, 647f, 647f, again and again). Such a crappy deal, alcoholism and addiction-because you are THE LAST ONE TO KNOW :(

During one hold, I saw a woman die in her bunk from alcohol withdrawal. I saw another woman 7 months pregnant withdrawing from heroin and thrashing on the cement floor (on her stomach). You do not DARE summon anyone. If you do-you and about 20 other females will be locked in a holding tank with no air for hours while the paramedics attend to the person. People pass out, pee…or worse…while waiting. So, you just watch. If you call for help alone-you will pay (snitch). You are instantly sub-human when you get arrested-and do not believe anything other than that. Headache? Ha! Withdrawal? Suffer. And that is the bold truth. If you don’t believe me-just review the past three deaths in SLO County Jail. All symptoms are ignored by inmates-and staff.


Indigo, thank you very much for that insider’s view. I’m left wanting to know more about your experience, maybe as part of a longer opinion piece, a CCN story, or grand jury report. Our justice system is completely the wrong tool for dealing with homelessness, mental illness, and addiction. I’ll bet there are a lot of Sheriff’s officers who would agree.


I realize that the staff at the County Jail doesn’t want people to smuggle in anything at all but it seems to me that if the drugs being smuggled are to fight addiction and don’t have negative side effects, there should be some consideration given in prosecuting and sentencing the person involved. A REALLY hard slap on the wrist (maybe a weekend in jail or a hefty fine) and a warning of more severe consequences in the future would seem appropriate to me

I realize that rehabilitation is probably the least important aspect of criminal punishment to many people but if someone is trying to overcome an addiction, even without the cooperation of the authorities, isn’t that a positive outcome. I figure that someone who has overcome a major problem in jail is significantly less likely to end up back there for repeat offenses — including some that have victims like burglary.


Is this an over the counter drug or does it need a prescription? If it needs a prescription then I feel that should be supplied to the inmate in custody if they ask for it.


Agreed. To me I want to lock up people whose crimes are a threat to society. I don’t see this as any big threat and to lock her up would be a waste of our tax dollars. Slap her hand, fine her and move on.