Tag Archives: Phones

DOC Officer Accused Of Smuggling Phones Into Prison

This article is another example of the corrupting influence of the demand for cell phones in prison. The demand for smuggled cell phones, like the demand for drugs in prison, drives the economic incentives to supply this demand. In addition to supply prevention, the satisfaction of demand, using a secure cell phone solution like meshDETECT will reduce the economic incentives to supply contraband cell phones.

Agents with the Alabama Department of Corrections arrested a correctional officer on suspicion of smuggling drugs and cell phones into Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore.

Leonard Purter has resigned and was initially taken to the Elmore County Jail, said Brian Corbett, a DOC spokesman.

Purter made bond and was released from jail Tuesday, court documents show.

DOC agents arrested Purter on Sunday morning for allegedly trying to bring various pills, marijuana and cell phones into the prison.

Purter had been employed with the DOC since July 31, 2007, Corbett said.

According to documents filed in Elmore County district court, Purter is accused of possessing about eight ounces of marijuana, a total of 173 pills and 14 cell phones with batteries and chargers.

The DOC continues to investigate the incident, Corbett said.

“This is just one example of the ADOC’s diligence in trying to keep contraband out of our facilities,” he said.

Purter has an unlisted phone number, and it is unknown whether he has hired an attorney.


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Prison Cell Phones For Soldiers And Veterans

What happens to contraband cell phones confiscated from prisoners? Here are two articles discussing the donation of these smuggled wireless devices to soldiers and veterans through the organizations Cell Phones for Soldiers and Soldiers Incorporated respectively. We applaud the decision of these Michigan and Georgia prisons to make sure these contraband cell phones are put to good use after being confiscated.

LEESBURG, GA — The Macon State Prison donated 1,204 cell phones to a local business that’s helping Cell Phones for Soldiers.

The cell phones EMC Engineering in Leesburg received from the prison were contraband from inmates and will now go to help soldiers overseas.

“The troops are using them to contact those back home. The distance is very far, and it’s difficult being away from family, but it’s easier when they can get in contact and communicate with those back home,” says Matthew Inman, Branch Manager of EMC Engineering.

If you want to donate a phone, visit the EMC Engineering office at 1344 U.S. Highway 19 S, Suite A in Leesburg. You can also call them at (229) 435-6133 to schedule a pick up if you have a large number of cell phones.

If you have a loved one serving overseas and want to send them one of these cell phones, visit the Cell Phones for Soldiers website.


MAYVILLE — Cell phones could soon be confiscated from prisoners and given to veterans.

Sen. Mike Green of Mayville says the new legislation would prohibit from using or possessing cell phones. “Allowing prisoners to use cell phones is a threat to the safety of guards and the general public,” said Sen. Green. “Cell phones can be used to plan escapes and traffic drugs. I supported this reform to ensure safety by getting these phones out of the hands of convicted felons.”

If a prisoner were to be found with a cell phone, he/she could face felony charges punishable by up to five more years in prison and/or a maximum of $1,000 fines.

Under the bill, it would also be illegal for non-inmates to sell, give, or allow a prisoner to use a cell phone.

The confiscated cell phones wouldn’t just end up in the garbage. Sen. Green says the ones that are still serviceable and no longer needed for prisoner prosecution would be donated to a program called Soldiers Incorporated that provides services to veterans.


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Police Seize Contraband Cell Phones During La Reform Prison Raid

More evidence of the worldwide nature of the contraband prison cell phone problem, this time from Costa Rica.

A police raid at Costa Rica’s La Reforma prison turns up large amounts of contraband, and reveals criminal networks operating within the jail.

Police on Thursday seized 580 homemade knives, large quantities of liquor, marijuana and crack, cellphones and other forbidden items during a raid at Costa Rica’s trouble-plagued La Reforma prison 20 km northwest of the capital San José.

In addition to the weapons, which police say inmates likely fabricated inside the prison, Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) agents and prison guards also confiscated 68 liters of liquor and 10 cellphones, said OIJ assistant Francisco Segura.

The maximum security La Reforma prison has frequently made the news since a violent May 11 prison escape attempt that resulted in the deaths of two inmates and a prison guard. During the three-hour standoff, inmates used handguns, fragmentation grenades and knives to take guards and other prisoners as hostages. Inmates also obtained a set of master keys to open cell doors in the prison’s maximum-security block.

Police also uncovered that some inmates had been operating a criminal extortion network from within the prison, using prohibited cellphones. The contraband seized during Thursday’s raid confirms Costa Rican prisons are plagued with corruption.


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R.I. Bans Cell Phones In Prison Cells

A new law has been passed to ban cell phones in prison cells in Rhode Island.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Michael J. McCaffrey and Rep. Raymond H. Johnston Jr. sponsored the bill that makes it illegal for prisoners to possess “any portable electronic communication device.”

Under the new law, inmates caught using a cell phone can be punished by a $5,000 fine, a maximum penalty of five more years added on to their prison sentence, or even both.

However, it’s not currently illegal to possess a cell phone at the ACI, but inmates caught with one could face losing their good behavior credits, which would potentially extend an inmate’s sentence.

The Department of Corrections lobbied for the law, saying that it would increase safety and security at the ACI.

“This new law will prevent inmates in prison from directing crimes behind bars,” said Rep. Johnston (D-Dist. 61, Pawtucket).

By creating and implementing the new law, the Department of Corrections is hoping to deter illegal activity from taking place while inmates are still behind bars.

“A prisoner should not have access to any type of cell phone or wireless device for the safety of fellow prisoners, corrections officials and individuals affiliated with the inmate outside of the prison walls,” said Senator McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick).


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Prison Cell Phones Become Hottest Contraband Commodity

A visit to California State Prison Corcoran was cut short Sunday when investigators smelled marijuana on a woman as she passed through security, a prison spokeswoman said.

Tisha Diane Holt was found with more than 2 ounces of concentrated marijuana hidden in her belongings. She consented to a search by prison staff and was arrested when they found the drugs, prison spokeswoman Teresa Cisneros said.

Holt, a certified nursing assistant from Los Angeles, was booked into custody for suspicion of conspiring to commit a crime and seven narcotics-related charges, including a special allegation of supplying a controlled substance.

She remained at the Kings County Jail with her bail set at $230,000 Monday.

This arrest was not the first time this year someone has been arrested for prison drug smuggling in Kings County.

The number reached 10 in March when Corcoran Prison’s Investigative Services Unit and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office busted two people for conspiring to smuggle drugs and cell phones into the facility.

Contraband continues to be a major problem for prisons across the state, with cell phones quickly becoming the hottest commodity. State Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, said earlier this year that more than 10,000 cell phones were confiscated in state prisons during 2010 alone.


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Cell Phones in Cellblocks

This news article discusses the contraband prison cell phone problem in the Florida DOC. Secure prison cell phone service is a solution to this issue.

A cell phone can be a lifesaver, but in the hands of a dangerous criminal, it can be used to threaten someone’s life. That’s why cell phones in prison are considered dangerous weapons, but plenty of inmates end up with a cell in their cellblock.

Phones are smuggled into prisons inside cakes, shower shoes, even body cavities and then well hidden.

“They’ll unbolt the toilet from the floor, then put the cell phone in cellophane to keep the moisture away, and then hide it under the toilet,” said Kevin Dean, head of Florida’s Contraband Interdiction Team for the Department of Corrections.

The problem is nationwide. Thousands of phones have been confiscated in California

“They plan escapes and coordinate escapes with them. We have evidence of this. We have evidence that they threaten witnesses, threaten victims,” offered Terry Thornton, a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections.

Charles Manson even managed to get his hands on a phone on two separate occasions.
Manson called people across country and right here in Florida from behind prison walls, according to the California department of corrections.

“I’ve seen the world spinning on fire. I’ve danced and sang in the devil’s choir,” Manson told an answering machine, according to the TV show Inside Edition.

Cell phones are worth big money behind bars. One guard in California reportedly made $140,000 smuggling them in before he was caught. Here in Florida, inmates also have help getting their hands on phones.

“They’re smuggled in through our visitation process. They’re dropped off at work squad sites. We’ve caught vendors coming in that have developed a relationship with a particular inmate,” Dean continued.

So what do the numbers look like in Florida? Since the state passed a law making it a felony back in 2008, 2,688 phones have been confiscated.

Last year, there were 152 cell phone incidents involving staff and contractors. According to the Department of Corrections, most were likely innocent mistakes, but sometimes guards are to blame.

Investigators arrested and charged two guards in July of 2010 with smuggling cell phones into the Graceville Correctional Facility in Florida’s Panhandle.

According to the arrest affidavit, guard Tyler Daniels “…had an arrangement with an inmate incarcerated at the prison who was to pay him $1,000 per package to deliver them inside the institution.”

One package contained three phones. Guard Matthew Crawford is accused of helping him. They’ve pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

To fight back, Florida’s DOC now has two phone-sniffing dogs, named Uno and Razor, to try and prevent inmates from ever getting a whiff of the outside.

Those caught smuggling cell phones into prisons can be charged with a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.


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