An inmate caused a bizarre scene at Albany County Correctional Facility on Tuesday when a condom full of prescription drugs and heroin she was carrying inside her split open, spilling a cache of painkillers, anti-anxiety and sleeping pills onto the floor of a holding cell, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said.
Before she was to begin a six-month sentence for a probation violation, Andrea Amanatides, 38, filled a condom with 256 prescription pills — 90 pills of Lyrica, 37 Adderall pills, 50 Valiums, 43 Trazadones, 10 Ambiens, 26 Oxycontins — and four bags of heroin and put the condom in her vagina, Apple said. As Amanatides waited in her holding cell, one of the pills fell out, Apple said.
Amanatides then tried to “adjust herself,” Apple said, but the 255 other pills and heroin simultaneously fell to the floor. The entire sequence was captured on video. Amanatides, of 245 Manning Blvd., was charged with five misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and felony promotion of prison contraband.
She was arraigned in Colonie Town Court and sent back to county jail. Apple said the incident underscores the need for his jail to be able to strip search all inmates.
In April, the Supreme Court ruled that jails may perform strip searches on inmates regardless of the gravity of their offenses. Jails had previously needed reasonable suspicion, a restriction Apple said made it hard to regulate drugs and weapons that came into his jail.
Drugs smuggled into the jail not only promote drug use, but violence, Apple said. “If she’s selling this stuff, people are going to find out who she is and beat her up for it,” Apple said. “It leads to a whole cycle of serious problems.”