JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - An unexpected delivery of meat led to the discovery of a second major contraband find at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman this past week.
As a result, Units 29 and 30 are on lockdown, meaning visitation, telephone, and commissary privileges are suspended until further notice. The buildings collectively house about 1,000 inmates.
Prison officials are investigating how the suspected marijuana, cell phones and other items made it into the prison and for whom they were intended. Forty-six cell phones and chargers, eight packs of suspected marijuana and four packs of tobacco were found in the bottom of a crate of meat delivered to Unit 29 from Unit 30 on Wednesday.
A supervisor at Unit 29 questioned the delivery, considering it had not been requested in the daily run from Unit 30. A search of the crate turned up the contraband.
"We intend to use all of our available resources to find all involved in this crime," Commissioner Marshall Fisher said.
In separate searches, 19 shanks, six cell phones and chargers and 15 packs of tobacco were among contraband seized in a shakedown of two zones at Unit 29 I building; and a large amount of contraband, including cell phones was found in the common areas of Unit 29 F Building on Friday.
While no one has been charged in the contraband discovery, arrests are expected, said Corrections Investigation Division Director Sean K. Smith.
"Shakedowns like the ones at Unit 29 are occurring often all over MDOC," Fisher said, pointing to another unrelated shakedown at the Greenwood Restitution Center on Wednesday morning. In addition to cell phones, burned DVDs and CDs, assorted medicine and cigarette lighters were discovered when offenders were surprised before dawn at the restitution center in Leflore County.
"No matter how often or where, we will continue to put pressure on those bringing in contraband," Fisher said.