GREENE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - This is a press release from the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Three people, including two juveniles, are facing charges in connection with attempts to introduce contraband at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Greene County.
Parolee Tony Maurice Shoots, 42, was arrested Saturday night shortly after one of two bags of contraband was discovered between two perimeter fences at the prison. The second bag was found nearby. Shoots, of Moss Point, is charged with introduction of contraband.
In the second unrelated case, MDOC officials believe they have thwarted a contraband ring in which two juveniles, ages 16 and 17, were being used to get contraband inside the prison in a similar manner.
Two large trash bags of contraband were seized after a Leakesville police officer, using information from SMCI K-9 unit, stopped the juveniles in a car near the prison on Feb. 11. Further investigation revealed that the juveniles intended to throw the bags over a fence. The content included:
• Eight bags of tobacco at one pound each
• Eight packs of rolling papers
• 51 cell phones (touch screen and flip)
• $500 cash ( in $100 and $20 bills)
• 25 cell phone batteries
• 50 cell phone chargers
• 18.7 grams of marijuana
• 4.2 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine
• 1.1 grams of suspected cocaine
• 2.1 grams of suspected heroin
"Contraband thrown on prison grounds is a major way cell phones get in the hands of inmates who use them to post on Facebook or call outside in violation of MDOC rules and regulations," said Interim Commissioner Pelicia Hall. "But using juveniles to sneak cell phones, drugs and other illegal items to inmates is a new twist for MDOC. We are very thankful for the efforts of our K-9 officers and this officer's vigilance while on patrol near SMCI."
The juveniles, both males, currently are being held in a juvenile detention center, and Shoots is being held without bond in the Greene County Jail.
MDOC on Monday took steps that could result in Shoots being returned to prison. He was paroled on Feb. 13, 2015 after serving time for possession of a controlled substance in Jackson County. He had received 10 years and 354 days when sentenced on three counts on Aug. 6, 2012.
Because of the ongoing investigations, MDOC is limited in releasing further details, including how long the juveniles or Shoots may have been involved in contraband drops and how much money is involved
MDOC expects more arrests in both cases.