Kansas-based attorney Juliane Colby was sentenced to 13 months in prison on Tuesday for smuggling heroin to an inmate incarcerated at the Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron. The inmate and attorney had been a years-long romantic relationship.
Colby was indicted in March 2021 on four federal charges related to the attempted smuggling, including one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and another count of attempted distribution of heroin.
The 44 year old had previously worked as a public defender for the Jackson County Public Defender's Office. Jackson is the county containing Kansas City
She pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to distribute heroin in February. The other three charges were dropped.
Drugs making their way into Missouri prisons have long been a concern of both prison officials and families of those incarcerated. In May, the Missouri Department of Corrections severely restricted the physical mail allowed to come into their facilities in an effort to curb contraband.
According to the federal indictment, Colby stashed 3.25 grams of black tar heroin in an envelop marked "legal mail" that was then delivered to 24-year-old Ce-Antonyo Kennedy.
In addition to the drugs, the envelop contained seemingly random legal documents and photos of Colby.
Kennedy, the intended recipient, is serving a 15-year sentence for murder and armed criminal action.
A sentencing memorandum from the prosecution says that Colby and Kennedy spoke on the telephone about their plan to smuggle drugs and also discussed a previous successful delivery of heroin. These conversations were recorded.
This isn't the first time that Colby has faced charges for her conduct with Kennedy.
In 2017, Colby was charged with a misdemeanor for communicating with Kennedy via a contraband cellphone when Kennedy was in Jackson County jail and Colby was a member of his defense team.
According to the 2017 complaint, Colby's communication with Kennedy via the contraband phone indicted they were in a romantic relationship.
“Women hit their sexual peaks around late 30’s to 40s’ and guys hit their in their early 20’s so that is why you see older women with younger men,” she wrote. Colby is 20 years senior to Kennedy.
“So your at your sexual peak, meaning this is a time in your life where you’re the most freakiest?” Kennedy replied.
“No, I’m an exception. I’ve always been in a sexual peak and I’m Asian so I’ve always been a freak!” Colby texted.
In a separate text, Kennedy wrote, "Girls my age can't handle me. I need a real woman." He added two smiley face emojis.
According to the complaint, Colby also allegedly mailed Kennedy a pair of women's underwear.
According to a sentencing memorandum, Colby completed a diversion program for the 2017 charge and avoided jail time.
In the federal case, Colby's defense asked for leniency for the former public defender, writing in a filing that Colby "was born and abandoned in South Korea in 1977. She lived in an orphanage for the first two years of her life."
Her defense added that Colby has a history of "attachment disorder and depression," has been in "years-long" relationship with Kennedy and she "desperately seeks approval from loved ones."
After Colby serves her 13-month sentence, she will be on supervised release for an additional three years.
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