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A view of the outside of the maximum security Colorado state penitentiary in Canon City. Denver Post file photo.

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Colorado State Penitentiary staff intercepted painkillers sent in the mail to the prison last week.

"Dangerous drugs pose a threat to the safety and security of our prison system," said Department of Corrections Executive Director Rick Raemisch. "The introduction of drugs inside a facility can lead to serious assaults on other offenders and staff. Staff diligence during the search of the mail is to be commended."

The pills, identified as Suboxone, were sent as "privileged mail" through the U.S. Postal Service to the prison in Cañon City. Staff members are restricted from reading privileged mail but can inspect the contents for contraband in the presence of suspected offenders. The staff member who opened the mail found about 70 pieces of Suboxone - an addictive painkiller - within the pages inside the envelope.

In a prison setting, the pills would be worth about $2,800, according to the Department of Corrections.

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Liz Forster is a general assignment reporter with a focus on environment and public safety. She is a Colorado College graduate, avid hiker and skier, and sweet potato enthusiast. Liz joined The Gazette in June 2017.

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