Investigation turns up backpacks stuffed with contraband, 2 inmates facing charges
By Lt. Michael Smith, AA/Public Information Officer
Ironwood State Prison
BLYTHE — The Investigative Services Unit (ISU) at Ironwood State Prison closed out an investigation leading to the discovery of a large stash of contraband being smuggled into the institution.
In the early morning hours of March 18, ISU staff located two black backpacks,strategically placed in the desert, adjacent to the west side of the warehouse. Both backpacks contained a large amount of cell phones, chargers and drugs which included marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine as well as three large bags of tobacco.
ISU staff set up constant surveillance on the area until they observed two inmates assigned to the warehouse leave their work locations to retrieve the contraband.
One of the inmates picked up the backpacks and placed them in a dumpster to be transported into the warehouse. The other inmate stood by, near a fork lift, to move the dumpster.
ISU staff quickly identified themselves, surrounded the inmates and took them into custody without incident. Both inmates were re-housed in the Administrative Segregation Unit pending administrative and criminal charges.
The estimated total prison value for the contraband is $93,000.
The ISU investigators continue to be proactive in the fight against drugs in the Institution. Their efforts are a testament to the hard work and dedication it takes to successfully intercept narcotics and contraband that may have otherwise been introduced into the facility, according to prison officials.
The primary mission of ISP is to improve public safety through the confinement of minimum- and medium-custody male offenders, while providing them the life improvement skills needed to successfully reintegrate back into society upon parole. ISP was opened Feb. 1, 1994, covers 1,700 acres and houses about 3,000 inmates.