Prison yoga instructor accused of hiding marijuana, ecstasy pills inside radio
Fellow instructor says multiple people had access to radio
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A yoga instructor who works at the Homestead Correctional Institution was arrested Sunday after she tried smuggling drugs into the women's prison, authorities said.
According to an arrest report, a sergeant was called into the visitor searching area Sunday as Patricia Rossato, 68, was being cleared for entry.
Police said Rossato had a radio with black electrical tape wrapped around the outside of it.
The sergeant noticed that an odor suspected to be marijuana was coming from the radio and that the radio appeared to be hollow within.
According to the arrest report, the sergeant started taking off the tape when Rossato spontaneously said that the radio was broken and was borrowed from someone else.
Authorities said there were about 5 grams of suspected marijuana inside the radio, as well as 41 blue pills of suspected ecstasy and 55 pink pills of suspected ecstasy.
All of the drugs were wrapped in aluminum foil and were in clear bags, authorities said.
Rossato appeared in court Monday, where a fellow instructor spoke to the judge on her behalf.
"We teach a class of yoga and meditation at the prison. We take in a CD cassette player every week. We take the same player and -- I think it was last month -- and I forgot to take the player out with me," the man said. "It was left in the prison for a week and then we got it the following time, so that means that the inmates had access to the player. We don't open the player all the time and look what's in it, so the only explanation I have is that the inmates were securing drugs within the player."
The man told Miami-Dade County Judge Mindy Glazer that the instructors only put CDs inside the player and never open the cassette part of any other part of the device.
Still, the prosecutor said if Rossato did try to smuggle the drugs in, it was a "huge security risk and health risk for the prisoners."
Glazer acknowledged that Rossato had no prior arrests in the county and has lived in South Florida for 34 years.
"Something seems weird," Glazer said after setting Rossato's bond at $28,500.
Rossato is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
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