South African woman sent 34 packets of synthetic drugs to Ohio prisons

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A South African woman was arrested Thursday at John Glenn International Airport for allegedly shipping synthetic drugs to Ohio prisons.

Tanya Baird, 46, of South Africa, was arrested by federal agents for sending 69 packages – 34 of which were delivered in southern Ohio – to people incarcerated in the United States containing K2, a synthetic cannabinoid, and Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat opioid addictions, from June through August 2021, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.

Baird, who appeared in federal court on Thursday, allegedly obtained K2 from China and doused legal documents with the substance from South Africa before sending them to the United States, according to the statement.

On some occasions, the prosecutor’s office said another anonymous person delivered the packages on Baird’s behalf to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections facilities, where the person collected the incarcerated goods.

The proceeds were then sent to Baird via CashApp or PayPal, according to the statement.

Baird, who is charged with importing controlled substances, faces up to 20 years in prison.

Alvin J. Chase