The Alabama Department of Corrections’ (ADOC) Law Enforcement Services Division (LESD) is enforcing the Department’s zero-tolerance contraband policy, making numerous arrests of individuals attempting to introduce illegal contraband into correctional facilities. Four of those arrests being in St. Clair County.
Since the suspension of visitors on March 18, due to COVID-19, the LESD has continued to eliminate the presence of illegal contraband and as a result has made numerous arrests of free-world citizens attempting to introduce drugs, cell phones, and weapons into ADOC’s facilities.
“While the entire ADOC – from executive leadership to our security staff – has been working diligently to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities, the LESD also has been hard at work eradicating contraband including cell phones, which we know are the nexus of most coordinated criminal activity in our facilities,” said LESD Chief Law Enforcement Officer Arnaldo Mercado. “Unfortunately, we’ve actually seen an increase in attempted illegal activity related to contraband introduction during the pandemic. Criminals have found new and, in some cases, sophisticated means by which to exploit the porous nature of our dilapidated, aging facilities.”
Thus far in 2020, law enforcement agents from ADOC’s LESD have initiated 491 investigations, closed 567 investigations, conducted 96 institutional searches, and arrested 34 free-world individuals and eight ADOC staff members.