Utah inmate charged with selling drug-laced postcards in jail

(Photo courtesy of the Weber County Sheriff's Office) Joshua Lee Kendall

An inmate being held at the Weber County jail on federal drug charges is now also facing state charges after he reportedly sold drugs embedded into postcards to fellow inmates.

Joshua Lee Kendall, 34, of West Jordan, was charged in 2nd District Court with three counts of drug possession with the intent to distribute, all first-degree felonies.

According to a probable cause statement, on Dec. 20 Kendall was “found in direct possession of several postcards,” addressed to him, which “tested positive for opium alkaloids and methamphetamines." Other postcards that had been found in his possession in August also tested positive for drugs, and Kendall had been “selling strips and/or pieces” of the postcards to other inmates.

Weber County Sheriff’s Office investigators wrote that Kendall made “multiple” phone calls and sent “multiple” text messages as he “orchestrated the movement of money and drugs,” using both his own and other inmates’ phone and tablet accounts. According to police, the “evidence of planning and intent to receive and distribute drugs” at the jail involved Kendall’s “wife … mother … and girlfriend,” as well as “over 20 inmates who were involved in purchasing/using the drugs.”

The calls involved how to manufacture and send the “drug-laced postcards to the jail,” along with payments through on-line apps set up for Kendall by family and friends.

Kendall was one of 33 people arrested in a February 2019 drug bust involving members of the Norteño gang. He was convicted earlier this month on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, and sentenced to 7½ years in prison.

Return to Story