Parolee allegedly sneaks drugs hidden inside her body into jail.

May 13, 2016


Drugs were reportedly stolen from AFC home where she lived.

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — A 43-year-old Hart woman who is on parole allegedly smuggled drugs into the Oceana County Jail that she reportedly stole from the adult foster care home where she was living by inserting nearly 70 pills inside her vaginal canal.

Rachelle Joyce Fitch was arrested by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office April 29 for felonies of furnishing contraband to prisoners and fourth-offense habitual offender. She also faces felony charges of larceny in a building and fourth-offense habitual offender issued by the Hart Police Department for allegedly breaking into a locked medication cabinet where medications were stored at the Fessenden AFC home, at 412 Hart St. It is also alleged that Fitch stole several items from other residents of the home, including a cell phone.

Fitch was lodged in the jail on a parole detainer after testing positive for opiates, according to the police report. When she became “lethargic and had trouble maintaining consciousness,” she was transported to Mercy Lakeshore Hospital in Shelby for a possible overdose, the report states.

“Fitch had smuggled in prescription medication into the jail via insertion of the pills into her vaginal canal,” the report states. The ER nurse found 69 total pills, including two capsules of temazepam, two pills of diazepam, 17 hydrocodone pills, nine morphine pills, 29 lorazepam pills and 10 obybutynin pills.

Fitch was paroled April 19 after serving time for sentences issued in Mason County for possession of analogues and obtaining controlled substances by fraud, according to the Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS). She has served previous prison terms for possession of marijuana, possession of a narcotic or cocaine less than 25 grams and delivery/manufacture of cocaine less than 50 grams.

Because there was no other place for Fitch to live, the Michigan Department of Corrections set up the housing situation for her, said MDOC spokesman Chris Gautz, which he described as “pretty rare” and “not typical.”

“There were no other spots available to place her,” Gautz said. “She had no other place to live, and we can’t just let her out and be homeless.”

A preliminary conference is set for May 16 at 3 p.m., and her bail was set at $10,000/cash/surety/10 percent. The drugs were sent to Michigan State Police crime lab for further analysis.

The maximum penalty for furnishing contraband to prisoners is five years in prison, and the maximum punishment for larceny in a building is four years.

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