FLORIDA CITY — A yoga instructor working in a women’s prison may find herself on the wrong side of the bars after a recent arrest.
Patricia Rossato ran afoul of law enforcement Sunday at Homestead Correctional Institution, the South Florida prison where the instructor works in the “Yoga And Mindfulness Outreach” program.
Rossato had with her a radio when she reported for duty. A sergeant present at the time picked up a whiff of something from the item and performed a search, which turned up “five grams of suspected marijuana, 41 blue pills of suspected ecstasy and 55 pink pills of suspected ecstasy” secreted within the device.
Rossato was subsequently charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and trafficking of ecstasy, charges which the 68-year-old woman denies. By way of defense, she claimed that the radio was borrowed and was sealed with electrical tape only because the casing was broken.
A colleague of Rossato’s in the yoga program came to her defense as well, speaking on her behalf in court on Monday.
“We take in a CD cassette player every week,” the man said. “We take the same player and, I think it was last month, I forgot to take the player out with me. It was left in the prison for a week and then we got it the following time, so that means that the inmates had access to the player. We don’t open the player all the time and look what’s in it, so the only explanation I have is that the inmates were securing drugs within the player.”
There could be some truth to the explanation, as Rossato has a clean record with no prior arrests in Miami-Dade County, although one would expect the prisoners to exercise greater care than to hide such a sizable cache of drugs in a place where they could easily lose access to it.
Rossato was incarcerated at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, missing out on a chance to room with her former students. Her Facebook page describes the prison program as one that empowers “prisoners, at-risk youth and those in-need for Healing Trauma, for Stress Management, for Body/Mind Health and for developing one’s Full Potential.” Reference is also made to The Butterfly Effect Center, a Miami alternative health service which Rossato manages.
Given the fact that Rossato was apparently of greater use to the inmates ferrying actual narcotics than delivering her holistic teachings, it just goes to show that alternative medicine still can’t hold a candle to the genuine article