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August 20, 2007
Thomasville -- A tip and a prison shake down lead Thomas County Prison authorities to three inmates in possession of marijuana.
Now narcotics agents want to know how they got it, and if anyone else is involved.
Inmates were working on Railroad Avenue in Boston, when narcotics agents and prison officials showed up, with drug sniffing canines.
"We had a tip that led us to that detail, and we went there and Thomasville K-9 recovered some marijuana in the truck," said Acting Warden Robert Geer.
Under one of the seats, dogs found around 4.5 grams of marijuana, rolling papers and four cell phones.
Two inmates, Avery Henderson and Joseph Manning were in the truck at the time and are charged with taking drugs across a guard line. "We're still looking into possibly where they got it from and other co-defendants," said Narcotics/Vice Division Commander Kevin Lee.
Back at the prison, the acting warden did a full shake down of the facility, something they do annually. "We go through every crack and cranny of the institution. Every bed every locker," Geer said.
Investigators say marijuana was found inside inmate Kenneth Smith's locker. "It was a small amount of marijuana, but anytime they bring it beyond the guard line or possess it where they're at, it's a felony," said Lee.
Narcotics agents and the warden say finding drugs in any prison is not unusual. Inmates have a lot of time to think of ways to get contraband past the guard lines so what they found here was a small amount. "What we found inside, being just that, is a good indication that we're doing our job," Geer said.
The inmates are strip-searched every day, and the warden says they act on every tip they get about illegal activity in the prison.
State prisoners, Smith and Manning will be transferred to state facility that is more secure. Henderson, a county inmate will complete his prison term in Thomas County and then be transferred to the county jail where he'll face the felony charge.