Four Inmates Charged with Having Pot, Cell Phones

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(Shelby County) - They're already behind bars,  but now four inmates at the Shelby County jail are facing more charges. A search turned up drugs and a cell phone in one section of the prison.

When video of inmates smoking in their prison cells hit Facebook. The lack of supervision within the walls at Shelby County corrections center was under scrutiny.

Now prison director James Coleman is touting his officers after a routine check caught four inmates with contraband including pot, cellphones and potential weapons like screwdrivers.

Randy Williams allegedly had a cell phone and charger, and a socket wrench. Clarence Milbrook reportedly had marijuana wrapped in paper. Anthony Williams allegedly had two plastic bags on marijuana. Colby Shannon had 11.83 grams of Marijuana, according to the affidavit.

"Supervision caught that," Dir. Coleman said. "The key to security is observation, and this officer proved he is keen on observation skills and we are improving everyday."

But the fact is, contraband still gets inside the prison walls.

"I wish I could say we will eliminate it, but contraband of various types will continue to plague us. We don't think we'll eliminate it, but we will reduce the types getting into the facility."

But Coleman says after installing security cameras around the perimeter the amount of contraband making its way inside the walls is decreasing.

He said there are far less people walking near the fence and throwing contraband into the facility.

 "I think that has been greatly minimized," he said. 

So we asked, if contraband was an internal problem, and he said, "It's under investigation and we'll try to find out."

County Commission did approve money to fund 45 more corrections officers to help with a staffing shortage at the facility. They are supposed to start training in November.