Cellphone-sniffing dogs smell out contraband handsets - PhoneArena

Cellphone-sniffing dogs smell out contraband handsets

Cellphone-sniffing dogs smell out contraband handsets
Prison officials across the U.S. have been concerned about inmates getting their hands on banned cellphones. The worry is that the handsets will be used for nefarious purposes like running criminal businesses or working out plans for retaliation. Congress has been considering passing a bill that would allow cell signals to and from State prisons to get jammed by state or local officials. Currently, only the Feds can jam signals and the phone industry fears that legit calls and even emergency calls could accidentally get jammed. A bill could come before the Senate for voting by this fall. Meanwhile, New Jersey officials have been extremely agitated by the illegal use of cellphones by prisoners.

Last week, N.J. Attorney General Anne Milgram announced charges against 35 inmates for Cellphone possession with a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Of the 35 charged, all but 10 are reputed gang members and some of the calls intercepted were about inmates plotting retaliation against other gang members. "This is not what should be happening when we put criminals behind bars," observed Milgram.

Some states are not waiting for legislation. Some prisons are using scanning equipment hidden in chairs to find handsets. When cellphones were discovered hidden in snacks purchased by family members from vending machines in waiting areas, the machines were removed. Virginia and New Jersey have used specially trained dogs to help sniff out contraband phones. Inmates have hidden devices in light fixtures, body cavities and Bibles. Some have even tried to hide them in jars of peanut butter to throw off the dogs. In the last year, New Jersey prison authorities have confiscated 400 phones, 126 battery chargers, 9 batteries and 1 Bluetooth device.

source: MobileTechToday
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