JACKSON – Dozens of cellphones and bags of tobacco were among a large amount of contraband seized from the Holmes-Humphreys County Regional Correctional Facility in Lexington Wednesday.
The seizure marks the second time in less than a month that a large number of cellphones were confiscated from the facility.
Wednesday morning, 80 cellphones and 93 large and small bags of tobacco were removed by MDOC staff during an Operation Zero Tolerance shakedown. On June 19, 95 cellphones and 79 large and small bags of tobacco were confiscated by a search led by regional staff.
“That’s 175 cellphones and 172 packs or bags of tobacco removed within three weeks from a facility that usually has 200 state inmates,” Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said. “This administration has zero tolerance for contraband.”
In addition to the contraband, MDOC officials also reported a strong marijuana-like odor during the search at 5:45 a.m.
Many inmates received rule violation reports for possession of contraband. Two offenders in particular were found with the most cellphones and other illegal items MDOC has found on one offender since Operation Zero Tolerance was implemented. One of those inmates had two saw blades, screws, a wrench, eight Zip Ties, three smartphones, tobacco, and tobacco-related items.
Other items found include 115 cellphone chargers, including 20 homemade; 13 cellphone batteries; 43 packs of suspected marijuana and spice; 21 cigarette lighters; three pairs of wire pliers; 10 sets of green dot or PayPal numbers; 51 pairs of earbuds; two SIM cards; four digital scales; and 96 packs of Top paper.
“What we found today at Holmes-Humphreys Regional concerns me, but I appreciate the cooperation that we are getting from the regional staff,” Commissioner Hall said.
MDOC and regional staff also have conducted a shakedown at Yazoo County Regional Correctional Facility in Yazoo City. On July 5, several inmates were cited for rule violations after they were found with a small amount of contraband, including cellphone chargers, suspected marijuana, and green dot or PayPal numbers. Also, there were 31 smartphones, three flip phones, 27 cellphone chargers, 14 pairs of earbuds, and 18 packs of suspected marijuana seized among assorted contraband.