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This Missouri woman tried to bring a Bible to an inmate. Here's why she was arrested.

Ashley A. Despain
Ashley A. Despain Vernon County Sheriff's Office

A Nevada, Mo., woman was charged with a felony after she allegedly tried to smuggle drugs inside a Bible to an inmate.

Ashley A. Despain was charged with delivery or possession of a controlled substance in a jail, according to the Vernon County Sheriff's Office. She allegedly attempted to smuggle the drugs inside the Vernon County Jail on Monday evening.

The local sheriff called it the "wrong way of trying to help someone."

"Usually (a Bible) is something you bring to help somebody through situations," Sheriff Jason Mosher told The Star on Wednesday. "That’s probably the wrong kind of help — putting drugs in it."

Typically, authorities do not allow citizens to deliver items to inmates, Mosher said, but exceptions are made for books and the Bible. He added the inmate was "expecting" the delivery, though he was unsure of the relationship between Despain and the inmate.

The jailer on duty noticed a lumpy part of the Bible's binding. The jailer then found a small baggie of suspected marijuana wedged between the binding and the Bible's pages.

Despain was arrested in the parking lot. A passenger who had accompanied Despain to the jail was also arrested in the parking lot on an outstanding warrant, Mosher said.

Mosher called the alleged smuggling attempt a first for the Office.

"This will now be on our list ... something to check and be on the lookout for," Mosher said.

Despain's bond was set at $5,000. She was arraigned Wednesday.

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