Mississippi Department of Corrections officials were in Corinth on Wednesday and performed a surprise search of the facility that houses 240 state prisoners.
More than 100 cellphones were recovered in the raid, but despite the search one inmate was able to keep a smuggled cell phone and recorded the wrecked facility after MDOC officers left.
MDOC contacted Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell after the inmate’s video appeared in a newscast on WLBT, Jackson’s flagship TV station.
The prisoner, 32-year-old Devin Johnson Jr., was immediately placed in isolation, said Caldwell. He has since been transported from Alcorn County to the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman.
Johnson is serving seven years for a 2016 armed robbery in Harrison County.
According to WLBT, the video shows a large area of inmates on bunk beds and walking amid items scattered on the floor. Sent to WLBT by a viewer who received the video in a text message from the inmate, Johnson shows his face and voices his opinion of the shakedown.
“I lost my charger,” he said in the video. “We just got shook down ... Shook down my whole house.”
Caldwell said he’s not surprised that all contraband was not found by MDOC during the shakedown.
“Since they left, we have already found three more cell phones hidden in the facility,” the sheriff told the Daily Corinthian. “A water bottle with a hidden compartment was also found.”
On Wednesday, MDOC officers also recovered cellphone chargers, large bags of tobacco and numerous other contraband items, including shoes and shanks.
It was the largest regional jail bust this year, according to MDOC.
The jail remains on lockdown until Caldwell and his staff can send MDOC a corrective plan of action.
“Controlling contraband is one of the hardest things we do,” added Caldwell. “It’s a daily fight that never ends. Mainly because these state inmates are constantly thinking of new ways to get contraband into the facility.”