Sherrice Richardson, a guard trainee at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution, was arrested on January 25, 2016 and charged for her role in a major contraband smuggling ring at the facility. Richardson, 22, admitted to prison officials that she had been paid about $700 by prisoners’ relatives to bring contraband cell phones, tobacco and other items with her when she reported to work. She was immediately terminated.
Regina Mason, 43, Demetrice Taylor, 44, and Rushia Keyes, 32, were also charged in connection with the contraband scheme. The women, who are family members of prisoners, face charges of conspiracy to introduce contraband. They were released on bond. Sean K. Smith, chief investigator for the MDOC, said, “The inmate leading this operation has not been charged, but he as well as two other inmates will face felony charges. Also, we expect to make more civilian arrests as a result of the details provided by the suspects.”
Following a raid on a storage unit targeted by the investigation, authorities found synthetic marijuana, bundles of tobacco, 126 cell phone chargers, four cell phone batteries and an assortment of other items, such as scissors, SIM cards and electric speaker wire. The storage unit also contained assault weapons and ammunition. On February 26, 2016, MDOC spokeswoman Grace Fisher said the investigation was ongoing.
“We have dismantled a significant criminal enterprise,” added MDOC Commissioner Marshall L. Fisher. Investigators said the contraband was distributed to various locations for pickup by guards or prisoners, and sometimes thrown over prison fences.
Sources: www.wbbjtv.com, www.wapt.com, www.wlox.com, www.clarionledger.com
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