Smuggling contraband into a California prison

Smuggling of drugs, cell phones, and other contraband reach inmates through surprising and sometimes ingenious ways. Some of the more likely methods include visiting relatives, through the mail, and by complicit prison staff, inmates, and visitors. A California man was found smuggling a cell phone, an MP3 player, ear bud headphones, marijuana, tobacco, and $140 in cash into a county lockup by hiding the contraband in his rectum, according to investigators.

If you facing a charge of smuggling contraband into a California prison or jail, your need for experienced legal counsel is immediate and urgent. People in this situation are at serious risk of finding themselves behind bars for being persuaded to “help” a loved one or make an incarcerated individual’s life bearable.

Smuggling drugs behind bars

Within California’s state prison system, a combination of inmate ingenuity, complicit visitors and staff corruption has kept the level of inmate drug abuse constant over the past decade despite concerted efforts to reduce it. At the Los Angeles County jail, inmates have used corrupt guards to penetrate tight security at lockups, helping fuel a lucrative drug trade behind bars, according to news reports. Three sheriff’s guards have been convicted and a fourth fired in recent years for smuggling or attempting to smuggle narcotics into jail for inmates. Three more deputies are under investigation for taking drugs or other contraband into the jails. A recent rise in cell phone smuggling has complicated matters, with inmates sometimes using phones to arrange drug deliveries.

Smuggling cell phones have become a significant factor

Cell phones have become a significant factor in criminal activities within prison walls. FBI agents conducted an undercover sting in which a deputy was accused of taking $1,500 to smuggle a cell phone to an inmate working as a federal informant. A report released in October 2012 by California’s Office of the Inspector General identified 419 cases of serious rules violations monitored by the state office in the first six months of 2012. Among the cases were those of 54 state prison employees accused of smuggling phones. Until 2011, smuggling a mobile device to an inmate wasn’t a crime in California. A law promoted by prison administrators, and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, makes it a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Daniel R. Perlman
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman