Families can no longer bring underwear, socks to inmates after drugs found in Miss. jail

A packet of powder was found sewn inside a pair of double-lined socks as well as drugs found in underwear


William Moore
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo

TUPELO, Miss. —  Family and friends will no longer be able to bring underwear and socks to inmates after illegal drugs were found at the Lee County Jail.

"This is a policy we offered to help families and insure inmates have clean underwear and socks," said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson. "But we can no longer allow items like that to be brought in from the outside after we recently discovered narcotics being brought into our facility."

Johnson said they discovered a packet of powder sewn inside a pair of double-lined socks. The packet of drugs was found behind the label near the cuff. More drugs were found in underwear recently dropped off at the jail.

"They can be ingenious," Johnson said. "This is not something a general screening would detect. This did make it into the general population of the jail, but we are certain we got it before anyone was able to use it."

Johnson plans to hold a press conference to announce criminal charges in connection with the seizures. Both the inmates and the person who brought the items to the jail can be charged.

And it won't be hard to locate and charge the responsible parties. When underwear and socks are dropped off, jail staff would write the prisoner's name on them with a marker. The person dropping off the items had to present a state ID, which would be copied. In addition to that, there are surveillance cameras in the lobby recording the transaction, as well as cameras in the parking lot to show what kind of vehicle the suspect was driving.

The policy change will not mean the inmates won't have clean underwear and socks. From now on, those items must be purchased through the jail's commissary system. Family and friends can put money in the inmate's account. That money can then be used to order items - including underwear and snacks.

"From now on, everything will come through a secure commissary," Johnson said. "We tried it to make it a little easier on the families, but it didn't work.

"We used to let them drop off Bibles, then we had someone cut out the whole book of Psalms and a weapon hidden inside. And we had someone sew cocaine in the binding of a Bible."

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©2019 the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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