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Five arrested for breaking into prison

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LIVINGSTON - Investigators arrested five people they said were trying to smuggle drugs, cell phones and tobacco into Livingston Parish Prison by cutting a hole in a fence and throwing the packages on top of a mesh-type fencing above the exercise yard.

Deputies arrested 40-year-old Lucretia Simmonswhite, 17-year-old Haley Howze, 20-year-old Paul Clement, Jr., 20-year-old John Mitchell Ballard, and 22-year-old Michael May, Jr.

Their charges include unauthorized entry, smuggling contraband into a penal institution, distribution of drugs among others.

Chief Criminal Deputy Jason Ard tells News 2 the group used bolt cutter after a failed attempt with pruning sheers.

"What their plan was as you can see in the photos here they tied some string to some bolts and what they'd do is kinda play around with a broom and get a bolt to fall through and reach up and grab it and pull it through," Ard said.

The contraband never made it into the prison. A deputy noticed the hole during a routine perimeter check and the prison went on lockdown. A few hours later the packages were found on top of the fence covering the exercise yard.

These crimes occurred between January 1 through January 3, and the group was arrested earlier this week.

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