Thomasville, GA -- The crackdown on prohibited drugs, technology, and tobacco products has been ongoing in south Georgia for some time.
Thomas County Prison Warden Robert Geer says inmates will attempt to smuggle in anything that's 'not pre-approved by state guidelines and policy.'
Says Geer, "I would say 50 percent of prisoners -- and statistically throughout the state of Georgia, 50 percent of the population -- is going to smuggle something in."
A few days ago, Autry State Prison inmate John Prescott was caught trying to smuggle in almost six ounces of marijuana after it was left for him at a job site.
Narcotics agents say drugs, now-prohibited tobacco, and even cell phones, translate into big money behind bars -- where small luxuries are few and far between.
Narcotics Commander Kevin Lee says the 'sky's the limit' when it comes to the ways prisoners try to sneak contraband behind bars.
Says Lee, "You figure these guys -- and girls -- have all day to figure out how to get it in and where to hide it when they get back -- if it gets back in."
Wardens estimate about 20 percent of smuggled items are found during thorough pat-down searches *before* they enter the prison.
Remarks Geer, "What we don't see is what scares us, but we do eventually find it inside the prison."
Narcotics agents say the key to stopping the stream of smuggled goods is to first stop the people hiding them for inmates to find -- which is challenging with so many prisoners working at different county job sites.
Inmates face isolation, further charges, and parole extensions when they're caught with items that aren't allowed.
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