Virginia lawyer to get jail time for conspiring to slip narcotics, phone to inmate

Posted at 1:55 PM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 15:02:33-04

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- Virginia lawyer Dana Tapper will spend about three months in jail after accepting a guilty plea deal to three felony charges in Prince George County Circuit Court Thursday. Her charges include conspiring to provide a cell phone to an inmate, providing a cell phone to an inmate, and conspiring to deliver a controlled substance to an inmate.

After Tapper entered her guilty plea, the prosecution detailed the evidence against her.

Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Mark Barnard said Tapper was surveilled by the Chesterfield Police Department beginning in May 2017 after an inmate at the Riverside Regional Jail told investigators that another inmate, Karon Porter, was receiving Suboxone strips from tapper.

Surveillance showed Tapper frequenting the home of Porter's mother, Kimberly Debro, which Barnard said is a known drug area.

In February of 2018, a cell phone was seized from Porter - and after obtaining a search warrant for both the cell phone and Tapper's residence, investigators discovered the box that the cell phone originally came in at Tapper's residence.

Thousands of texts between Tapper and Porter and more than hundreds of texts between Tapper and Debro were found on their cellphones - many making references about 'strips.'

On December 27, 2017, Tapper and Porter texted about the data being out on the phone with Tapper texting Porter, "you might have to sneak me the phone back or I'll have to buy you a new one."

In another conversation on January 21, Porter texted Debro saying, "Just do the 50 strips and um, bout to call Vicky to get the bread."

That same day Tapper texted Porter saying, "So how would I get 50 strips to bring in for your tomorrow if that's the case."

Jail logs show Tapper visited Porter several times between March 2017 and January 2018. She delivered the cell phone on December 7.

Suboxone was never recovered from Porter's jail cell or Tapper's residence.

Both the prosecution and defense said there isn't any, and never was any evidence that she had sexual contact of any kind with an inmate.

Tapper will be on supervised probation until released by the court and will remain on unsupervised probation for life.

In 2013 the University of Virginia law student appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show and was awarded $20,000 for her passion for helping those in the juvenile system.

The CBS 6 Problem Solvers are Working For You.

Contact the CBS 6 Problem Solvers

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.