LAUSD Teaching Assistant Charged With Smuggling Heroin, Cellphones to San Quentin Death Row Inmate

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A death row inmate is escorted back to his East Block cell after spending time in the yard at San Quentin State Prison on Aug. 16. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

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A teaching assistant with the Los Angeles Unified School District has been charged with smuggling heroin and cellphones to an inmate on San Quentin’s death row.

Teri Orina Nichols, 47, was charged with one felony count of bringing a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia into a prison or jail and one misdemeanor count of possession with intent to deliver a wireless communication device or component to a prison inmate, said Barry Borden, Marin County assistant district attorney.

Nichols was charged Friday and is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 13. She could face up to four years in prison, to be served in the county jail, Borden said.

Nichols, whom the prison identified as an assistant teacher with L.A. Unified, was arrested Thursday during a visit with 50-year-old Bruce Millsap.

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