Tangipahoa Parish battling jail contraband

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Posted: Mar 21, 2014 4:38 PM by Troy Gaulden
Updated: Mar 21, 2014 7:00 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Amite City, Amite, Tangipahoa, jail, prison, contraband

AMITE - Law enforcement in Tangipahoa Parish is on the lookout for someone leaving cell phones and drugs stashed behind the parish jail.

Amite City Police got a tip Tuesday and found a stash of $7,000 worth of prison contraband along a jail fence. Officers found a pound of tobacco, four ounces of pot, synthetic marijuana and nine cell phones.

Tangipahoa Jail Administrator Cpt. Stuart Murphy says that's a big problem for staff battling the flow of contraband.

"A cell phone inside of a prison probably ranges between $300-500. That's what's paid for it, if it's successful and they get it in. You see people robbed everyday for less," he said. "The offenders would rather have those cell phones so they are not recorded and they're not monitored when they're making these phone calls. Because most of the phone calls are to further their criminal activity or maybe deal with co-conspirators to keep engaging in some criminal activity."

Investigators say they are looking into two people who left store receipts behind with the cell phone stash.

"These people are not guilty of buying phones, but we just want to talk to them to see what they did with the phones once they bought them," said Amite City Police Chief Jerry Trabona.

Murphy says jail staff shakes down inmate dorms daily to fight contraband inside the jail walls. An inmate found with contraband like a cell phone could lose good time served and face additional charges

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