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Taunton parents, son tried to smuggle drugs into prison, police say

Kyle Rocha, 22, and his parents Evangelina Rocha, 45, and Jose Rocha, 47, all of Taunton, were arrested after police say they tried to smuggle drugs into a local prison.

Kyle Rocha, 22, and his parents Evangelina Rocha, 45, and Jose Rocha, 47, all of Taunton, were arrested after police say they tried to smuggle drugs into a local prison.

Three members of a Taunton family pleaded not guilty to trying to help a relative smuggle drugs into a prison where he is incarcerated, officials said.

Jose Rocha, 47; his wife, Evangelina , 45; and their son, Kyle, 22, were arraigned Friday in Taunton District Court on multiple charges, including drug possession with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and conspiracy to deliver narcotics to a prisoner, Easton police said in a statement.

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All three pleaded not guilty. Jose Rocha was released on $100 bail, and Evangelina and Kyle were held on $7,000 bail and $15,000 bail respectively. They are scheduled to return to court July 17 for pretrial hearings, a court clerk said.

Easton detectives were alerted to the alleged scheme Thursday by the Bristol sheriff’s office.

According to the sheriff’s office, the suspects were planning to hide drugs inside Parker Terrace, a senior housing complex on Baldwin Street in Easton. Their son, Matthew Rocha, an inmate at the Bristol County House of Correction and Jail, was to visit the senior center Friday as part of a work release program. He then planned to smuggle the drugs back into the prison, police said.

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Easton detectives and a Bristol sheriff’s investigator searched the bathroom at the senior center and surveyed the area before the family’s arrival Thursday, police said.

When the suspects arrived, one of the family members allegedly walked into the senior center and left approximately two minutes later. Detectives entered and discovered a condom filled with oxycodone and Percocet pills hidden in the bathroom, according to police.

The suspects were stopped on Baldwin Street and arrested.

Matthew Rocha was not charged in the incident.

Related coverage:

Vt. family allegedly attacks officers

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.
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