New surveillance is helping Alabama law enforcement crack down on prison contraband, with three arrests in a single weekend of people trying to smuggle illegal items into prisons.
According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, At the Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton, AL, a man was reported in an unauthorized area outside the prison's perimeter fence. When officers searched the area, they found a canvas bag containing footballs sealed with tape and containing cell phones and battery chargers. William Tune, 28, of Nauvoo was apprehended by K9 officers and confessed to throwing the bag over the fence. He was charged with promoting prison contraband.
At Easterling Correctional Facility in Clio, staff found an inmate with a package containing meth passed to him by a visitor. While visiting the inmate, Emily Connell, 49, of Tallassee, was taken into custody and charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, attempt to commit a controlled substance crime, and promoting prison contraband.
In a separate incident at Easterling, a female visitor, Theresa Williams, 58, of Birmingham, was arrested for possessing multiple packages of methamphetamine. Williams was charged with promoting prison contraband, possession of a controlled substance, and attempt to commit a controlled substance crime.
Alabama Department of Corrections Director of Investigations and Intelligence Division, Arnaldo Mercado, says, "We have–and will continue to–increased our surveillance operations with more security staff in an effort to prevent illegal contraband from coming into our state correctional facilities. This is a high priority, and anyone attempting to smuggle drugs or any form of contraband into our prisons will be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."