Ind. prison drug ring shows contraband phone risks

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Associated Press

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 23 at 7:02 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities say a drug ring two Indiana inmates allegedly ran behind bars using contraband cellphones shows the risks posed by the widespread problem of the phones being smuggled into the nation's prisons.

Prison cellphones are so common that one of the nation's most notorious inmates, Charles Manson, has been caught at least twice with cellphones in the California prison where he's serving a life sentence.

Texas state Sen. Joan Huffman says about 2,000 cellphones are seized annually from Texas prisons. She says some inmates use cellphones to circumvent prison-monitored land lines so they can orchestrate criminal activity or threaten victims and witnesses.

A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges two Indiana prison inmates used smuggled cellphones to run a drug ring involving 38 other people.

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