- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A correctional officer at South Mississippi Correctional Institution has been arrested for trying to smuggle cellphones, synthetic marijuana and other contraband into the prison.

The state Department of Corrections, in a news release Wednesday, said 27-year-old Megan Deese, of Leakesville, was charged under a law that prohibits a correctional facility employee from furnishing an offender with a cellphone or contraband item. If convicted, Deese faces up to 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

When her bag was scanned Monday as she reported to work, authorities found 22 cellphones, five Bluetooth devices, 10 cellphone batteries, about 1.5 pounds of spice and 15 cigars.

Deese, who is free after posting $5,000 bond, has worked for the Mississippi Department of Corrections since February 2014.

She is the sixth person to be arrested at SMCI and the eighth overall on contraband-related charges since April 21 when Commissioner Marshall Fisher initiated lockdowns as a way to reduce contraband inside the state’s prisons.



The lockdowns at SMCI and Unit 30 at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman will continue until further notice. Also, Quick Bed B Building D Zone at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility was added to the lockdown list Tuesday after the discovery of cellphones, spice and other items.

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