Prison Contraband Interdiction Strategy Yields Multiple Arrests

Sunday, May 07, 2017 | 07:43pm

NASHVILLE - Last year, the Tennessee Department of Correction seized more than 2,000 cell phones with more than half of them showing a security threat group connection.  In addition, 1,400 drug related incidents were investigated as well.  While the introduction of contraband threatens the safety and security of penal facilities throughout this nation, these seizures and investigations illustrate the hard work of our officers and agents in the fight against contraband.

Commissioner Tony Parker supports these efforts and bolstered them with the appointment of Lee Dotson as Chief Interdiction Officer.  Mr. Dotson is leading a multidisciplinary effort to not only stop the flow of drugs into our prisons but share intelligence with other law enforcement partners to make our communities safer as well.  This effort recently led to the arrest of Shontoria Robinson in Davidson County.  Proactive investigative techniques led officials to a plot by Ms. Robinson to introduce drugs into a Middle Tennessee facility.  Investigations augmented by intelligence-led parking lot searches resulted in three additional visitor arrests this weekend for attempting to introduce contraband.

During these investigations, TDOC agents worked closely with local law enforcement which led to the confiscation of a significant cache of drugs.  According to Commissioner Parker, “TDOC will utilize all resources in targeting anyone who attempts to introduce illegal items into our prisons.  Make no mistake; we will work with our District Attorneys across this state to aggressively prosecute anyone who compromises the safety of our staff and facilities by introducing illegal substances!”

These multiagency collaborations are just the first of many strategies the department is utilizing to enhance public safety.  Other strategies include the increased use of narcotic detection K9 and using federal grant monies to purchase investigative technology.

These strategies reinforce the Tennessee Department of Correction’s non-negotiable mission of operating safe and secure prisons and providing effective community supervision in order to enhance public safety.