Forbidden fruit

Confiscated contraband includes marijuana, cellphones, cigarettes, cigars, phone chargers, cereal, super glue, cigarette papers, lighters, needles and thread, razors, batteries and snacks.

A plot to sneak contraband into Pike County jail ended with the arrest of one person, a cellblock shakedown and the confiscation of a horde of illegal items.

Marcus Alendo Martin, 34, of 1521 Bogue Chitto Road Southwest, Bogue Chitto, was arrested Sunday night and charged with possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to introduce contraband inside a correctional facility.

Sheriff James Brumfield said Martin allegedly cut a hole in fencing and razor wire surrounding the jail, while an inmate burned a wooden covering over the window to his cell to accept the contraband.

Brumfield said Capt. Richard Bynum, who oversees the jail, got word of the scheme and prepared for the attempt.

Brumfield also noted that the jail’s alarm system worked properly to alert of the attempted smuggling.

“On Sunday night, an individual began to cut the outer fence,” Brumfield said. “The alarm system worked, and our corrections officers and deputies came and confiscated a boatload of contraband.”

Brumfield said the sheriff’s office used the incident as a springboard to search the jail, noting that Mississippi Highway Patrol’s Special Operations Group assisted in searching for more contraband.

“In order to get us back to a clean start, we asked that the special operations group of MHP would come help us, and they assisted us this morning,” he said Thursday.

“A number of them came in and assisted us in the shakedown.

Bynum said metal plates are being welded onto the windows of the jail to prevent smuggling.

Brumfield said the incident is still being investigated and would not give a list of everything confiscated, but he said officers found cellphones, chargers, weapons, drugs and other common contraband during the search.

“This morning, we did find some phones and weapons — not guns but shanks and that kind of stuff,” he said.

Brumfield said this was not the first time the jail fence had been breached, noting that there are at least four repaired spots on the fence, including the hole that was cut Sunday.

He also said five corrections officers have been dismissed and three have been charged for various offenses since the beginning of the year.

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