- Associated Press - Saturday, December 23, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi corrections officials say a shakedown in three units of the state prison resulted in the seizure of rat poison, liquor in plastic water bottles, cigarette lighters and other contraband.

A news release from the Department of Corrections says the discoveries were made in a pre-release program unit, a work camp and a unit for inmates with disabilities.

Seventy-five cigarette lighters were found, the department news release said.

“It appears that the rat poison confiscated is being mixed with drugs, such as marijuana, which could be toxic and lethal to offenders, if ingested,” the release said.

Other contraband items found include tobacco, cigarettes, cellphones, cellphone chargers and related items.

“If we find an item that is not on an inmate’s allowable list, it will be confiscated,” Hall said.

A total of 477 inmates were housed in the three locations at the Mississippi State Penitentiary.

Most of the contraband came from the work camp, where 191 offenders were assigned when officers searched.

It appears the contraband is coming in through prison staffers, visitors and inmates on work details, Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said in Friday’s statement.

“As part of Operation Zero Tolerance, the trafficking will be addressed,” Hall said. “A preliminary investigation already has confirmed some sources.”

An investigation is underway.

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