The Art Of Prison Smuggling: How Inmates Sneak Contraband Past Guards

By Juliet Smith 1 year ago

Smuggled in a not-so-holy bible

Image Source/ Wikipedia
Tehani Teepe and Timothy King were charged with third-degree felony contraband after smuggling into a correctional facility. A smear on a Bible square revealed heroin—enough to split into 30 or 40 hits and give to the inmates. The smugglers faced much more time than they initially should've!

Using their infants as mules

Image Source/ Triple M
It's not unusual to see children with balloons, but it is unusual to see a baby with a balloon containing 20 grams of marijuana. In 2010, a lady tried to smuggle marijuana into a New Zealand prison by hiding it her baby's balloon. The "sad and desperate" attempt failed swiftly.

and their diapers and bottles too!

Image Source/ Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
One Australian jail official said babies are the biggest drug smugglers as Mothers sneaked narcotics in their babies' bottles and diapers. Officials rarely search children, especially babies. So when there's on visitation to see daddy, it's an easy route.

Drug-laced stamps on their letters

Image Source/ Marion County Sheriff's Office
Sarah Laurito, 18, wanted to write her inmate lover, 25-year-old Jeremy Weber, personalized love notes. She wrote many letter while hiding Suboxone behind the envelope stamps. Weber advised Laurito to hide the orange breath mint-like narcotic Suboxone behind her letters' stamps in recorded phone calls.

Hiding drugs in coloring books

Image Source/ Cape May County Sheriff's Office
In 2011, relatives of three New Jersey detainees dissolved Suboxone into a paste, put it into a coloring book and then mailed it to the prison. They even scrawled "To Daddy" in the margins of each page. The jail administration, however, was well aware that inmates were smuggling drugs into the facility disguised as coloring books.

The art of smuggling... literally

Image Source/ Reddit
Stockton-on-Tees Holme House inmates last year had a shock when guards finally detected narcotics in home-made paintings handed to convicts. It's not the only way drugs were smuggled though, as they have been detected in hair, jewelry lockets, makeup compacts, clothing, even platform shoe heels.

A sneaky little birthday gift

Image Source/ Smithsonian Magazine
After bringing a prison inmate a birthday cake, an Irish nun became embroiled in a peculiar contraband case. The cell phone in the cake shocked Sister Eithne and after an interview, jail guards concluded she was an unwitting collaborator merely trying to help as prison chaplain.

Using the loss of limb

Image Source/ Reddit
After five inmates from the Hamilton County jail in Indiana escaped, one inmate, Mason, now walks with the aid of a prosthetic after losing his foot and lower leg to an infection. While in Hamilton County jail, Mason got a new wooden leg in the mail, which authorities later discovered to conceal saws in the foot's cork.

Firing a bow and arrow

Image Source/ Reddit
inmates at Mariefred Prison outside Stockholm launched a daring bow-and-arrow phone smuggling scheme. Swedish police saw a guy discharge three arrows into a high-security prison yard with two phones and a charger attached. The archer was arrested and imprisoned immediately as they tried to use the phones to escape prison.

The pigeon carrier method

Image Source/ maka / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
Pigeons were formerly an important part of the war effort as they carried messages to soldiers without the use of radio. It helps that through instrinct the birds always fly home and in 2009, it was reported that inmates in a prison in southeastern Brazil were breeding and raising pigeons. People on the outside fitted the birds with cell phone components and flew them back into the prison.

Snuggled in an inmate's weave

Image Source/ New York Post
Tiffany Scurry was visiting a Florida prison inmate when prison officers decided to search her weave. Scurry's hair revealed 30 Oxycontin and ecstasy pills and Scurry was captured instantly and led police to her car, where they found a lot of marijuana.

Lacing a burrito

Image Source/ By К.Артём.1 / Wikimedia Commonsa / CC BY-SA 4.0
Henry Marin, an officer with the LA County Sheriff's Department, was arrested and charged with multiple charges of criminal conspiracy in 2012. How? Wrapping drugs in a tortilla and sneaking them into the courthouse lockup. It was a creative and tasty crime, but it cost him two years in prison.

The kiss of death

Image Source/ Federal Bureau of Prisons
Donald Denney couldn't find a woman with a clean record to smuggle heroin into his son's prison, so he had to hide it in his anus and give it to him with a French kiss. Over a police-monitored phone, Denney relayed this complex scheme to his son. Denney would put it in his lips, and then kiss his son to give him the drugs.

Dead birds thrown into the yards

Image Source/ Reddit
Inmates in New Zealand will allegedly use all way possible to smuggle illegal substances into correctional facilities. Several incidents involving prisoners in 2007 hiding drugs in the bodies of deceased birds, which were subsequently thrown over prison walls and into exercise yards.

Hidden contraband in a football

Image Source/ WYFF
This one fell through when a man couldn't throw a football far enough to smuggle narcotics and phones into a prison. He was supposed to throw a football stuffed with cell phones, cannabis, and heroin from outside Cotton Correction Facility into the inmate exercise yard, but missed and was subsequently caught.

Packing led where the sun doesn't shine

Image Source/ Onslow County Sheriff's Office
The rectum has traditionally been an effective, yet disgusting, site to deposit smuggled drugs into jails but one North Carolina prisoner used his creativity to bring a gun into prison. After Michael Ward was jailed for drunk driving, a gun was found in his cell. Prison officials say Ward secreted his .38 caliber revolver in his rectum. The 10-inch gun was unloaded, fortunately.

Tucked in between fat rolls

Image Source/ The Mirror
Despite repeated frisks and searches, a 500-pound inmate smuggled a revolver into a Texas prison by hiding it between his fat folds. He was searched multiple times after his arrest and was at prison too. Police did not discover his unloaded 9mm weapon under his fat rolls.

Honey, we killed the cat...

Image Source/ Logus
Guards at a medium-security jail in northeastern Brazil spotted a stray cat with an odd bag fastened around its stomach. Upon apprehending the criminal, the police unearthed a plethora of tools, including two saws, two concrete drills, a headset, a memory card, a cell phone, and batteries. The authorities say they suspect the cat was reared by inmates because this wasn't its first time on prison premises.

Soaking drugs into their underwear

Image Source/ Metro UK
A prisoner in Kentucky allegedly overdosed on methadone after using his underwear to smuggle drugs. Inmate Michael Jones was charged with murder after he allegedly brought methadone-soaked underwear back into the jail and distributed pieces of it to his cellmates while he was out on court-ordered furlough.

The paralegal strippers

Image Source/ The Mirror
In 2011 a Miami maximum security prison was overrun with visiting paralegals delivering lap dances instead of legal advice. Drug kingpins' lawyers found a loophole to name anyone as a paralegal. They used the oversight to deploy strippers as paralegals to the federal jail center and the targets performed strip exhibitions, sex acts with inmates, and smuggled money.

Stuffing contraband in their genitals

Image Source/ By Dasadiil / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Officials were horrified to learn how a grenade entered a Colombian prison, killing five inmates and injuring 20, and were even more horrified to find that a woman smuggled the grenade in her vagina. The smuggler brought the weapon inside because prison guards were not allowed to assess female visitors' genitals.

Hiding someone in a suitcase

Image Source/ CBS Austin
While criminals are often trying to sneak things into prison, this time they were smuggling a prisoner out. Maria visited her husband, Juan in Chetumal Prison, Mexico and after her visit, jail officers saw Maria was uneasy and lugging a hefty black suitcase. The guards opened the bag and saw Juan in the fetal position.

Hiring cockroach friends...

Image Source/ Reddit
Guards in Texas had no idea how two of the inmates in solitary confinement were obtaining cigarettes. The detainees and their cells were searched, but no leads were found. Eventually, one of the inmates gave in and revealed the identity of the courier: a giant black cockroach with a cigarette stuck to its back that had sneaked out from under the floor of the cell. Genius!

Smuggling during visitation

Image Source/ WitnessLA
We all know that inmates are allowed to get social visits from their loved ones. Although, before entering, visitors must go through metal detectors and are subject to a full body check by employees. But some people would still attempt to sneak medications or even little mobile phones to loved ones, that's how desperate they are!

Hidden in mail

Image Source/ YouTube
Despite the fact that all incoming mail is meant to be searched by prison security, some would-be smugglers nonetheless try to get small amounts of illegal narcotics into prisons by impregnating letters and greeting cards. It also helps that drug dogs aren't always a presence in prison!

Thrown over prison walls

Image Source/ CNBC
So you've heard about stuffed, dead birds being thrown over prison walls, but anything can be really! Prison inmates have been known to hurl packages containing contraband such as narcotics and mobile phones with pre-paid SIM cards. They can be stuffed inside of oranges and tennis balls.

Dropped off by drones

Image Source/ London Metropolitan Police /
Given the technological era we're now in, there has been a rise in the practice of using remote-controlled drones to smuggle illegal things into prisons by flying packages over prison walls and sometimes right up to the windows of individual cells. It's not entirely foolproof though as many culprits have been caught using this method.

Using corrupt prison staff

Image Source/ The Bolton News
Historically, enlisting the help of a corrupt officer or guard has been the most successful method of gaining entry to a prison. Due to staff shortages, security checks at the staff entry might be inadequate, making it the most profitable option to breach prison security by paying a prison officer or civilian staff member.

Blackmailing people they know

Image Source/ Radio Free Europe
Some inmates are manipulative, and other young or weak inmates and staff may find themselves in inappropriate romantic relationships with inmates. Once they've fallen for it, these police personnel are easy prey for pressure and blackmail. It's one of the most efficient ways of getting them to help smuggle contraband!

Hiring outside contractors

Image Source/ The Independent
Even for high security prisons, a surprisingly high number of outside contractors are allowed inside. Some are involved in privately contracted construction or maintenance projects. Local criminal networks may pressure or coerce some contractors into conveying illegal goods to inmates.

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