Three arrested in Alabama prison contraband investigations

State / Regional
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The Alabama Department of Corrections announces three arrests at two state correctional facilities.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, correctional officers assigned to Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton reported a male suspect in an unauthorized area outside the prison’s perimeter fence. When officers attempted to approach the suspect, he fled the area on foot and ran into a wooded area near the prison. During a search of the area, officers found a canvas bag containing four footballs sealed with tape and containing cell phones and battery chargers.   

Prison officials dispatched the facility’s K9 unit, which was successful in apprehending 28-year-old William Tune of Nauvoo. Tune confessed to throwing the bag over the fence and was charged with promoting prison contraband. 

A separate arrest was reported at Easterling Correctional Facility in Clio on Sunday, June 9. At approximately 8:30 a.m., correctional staff discovered an inmate in possession of a package containing methamphetamines that had been passed on to him by a visitor inside the facility’s visitation room. 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. Connell was previously convicted of distribution of a controlled substance in 2013.             

A second arrest was made at Easterling Correctional Facility at around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday when correctional staff found a female visitor in possession of a controlled substance. 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.  Williams had a previous conviction in 1997 for possession of a controlled substance. 

All suspects were taken to the Barbour County Jail, where they were booked following the arrests.     

                “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,” said Alabama Department of Corrections Director of Investigations and Intelligence Division, Arnaldo Mercado. “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.”   

           The public should contact the ADOC Investigations and Intelligence Division at 1-866-293-7799 with information that may lead to the arrest of anyone attempting to introduce illegal contraband into state prisons or to report any criminal activity that could be taking place at any of the state prisons. The public may also report suspicious activity to law enforcement by going to the ADOC Website at  http://www.doc.alabama.gov/investigationrequest.

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