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Thursday, 6 May 2010

Grits for Breakfast: Breakup of contraband smuggling ring implicates prison guards

Grits for Breakfast: Breakup of contraband smuggling ring implicates prison guards: "Troubling new details surfaced Wednesday about the depth of illegal smuggling inside Texas' massive prison system, including revealing glimpses into how convicts may be operating drug- and money-laundering rackets with the help of guards and family members.
The new information surfaced in 20 pages of court filings in Travis County, revealing that authorities are investigating a 21-year-old Waco woman and at least five convicts for alleged organized criminal activity at the Coffield Unit near Palestine in East Texas.
According to a search-warrant affidavit, investigators listening in on phone calls made by several convicts at Coffield and intercepting ingoing and outgoing mail believe that some convicts are arranging for their family members to deposit money in one another's accounts, with the arranging inmate taking a cut of as much as 25 percent.
Thousands of dollars were being funneled through the scheme, according to the affidavit. In another intercepted phone call, one convict admitted buying drugs from another convict — and 'although he did not observe guards deliver any dope, he knew they had.'
According to the affidavit, the Waco woman 'drops the dope off to someone, then the dope is brought into the prison by an unknown person.'"

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