TDOC Makes Contraband Interdiction Arrests
PIKEVILLE – Earlier today, 14 people were arrested on multiple counts stemming from a Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) investigation into the introduction of contraband. Diligent work by the Office of Investigations and Compliance in conjunction with the Interdiction team and prison staff resulted in 5 civilians and 9 inmates being charged with either introduction of contraband into a penal facility or conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal facility. Those charged include:
· Mitzi Ann Boyd Quillen of Bristol, TN
· Helena Bussey-Harris of Nashville, TN
· Patricia Pittman of Memphis, TN
· Sonia Mayes of Chattanooga, TN
· Chamique Calhoun of Chattanooga, TN
· Malik Phillips #526150
· Jesse Harris #116733
· Corey Byrd #399769
· Timothy Demery #317318
· Seth Boyd #387564
· Jerry Pittman #532634
· Joshua Mooneyham #404853
· Jeremy Fleming #514609
· Stephen Ezell #320176
TDOC’s non-negotiable mission is to operate safe and secure prisons and provide effective community supervision in order to enhance public safety. The introduction of contraband into a penal facility is not only a threat to the safety and security of the department’s institutions but a violation of the law. Just over two years ago, the Department of Correction announced intensive contraband interdiction efforts that focused on TDOC facilities and also partnered with local law enforcement agencies to cut down on the flow of drugs in Tennessee communities. Operations like this one illustrate how contraband is not just a TDOC issue but a community issue as well.
“The introduction of contraband into one of our prisons by anyone is a felony offense and a threat to the safety of our team, the offenders we supervise and the public,” says TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker. “We stay committed to working with local law enforcement to vigorously prosecute anyone who attempts it be it inmate, visitor or staff. Threats to the safety of our facilities will never be tolerated and this should be a reminder to everyone listening that we remain vigilant in this fight against contraband.”
While contraband is a national issue that affects prisons, jails, and correctional institutions across the country, TDOC has ramped up efforts by appointing a Chief Interdiction Officer, creating an Honor the Oath campaign, and partnering with law enforcement at the local, state and federal level for vigorous investigations and prosecutions. In addition, Commissioner Parker has been intimately involved in the national fight against contraband and has taken part in conversations with the FCC, ASCA, the FBI, and mobile technology leaders to find ways to reduce cell phone utilization in contraband introduction.
Finally, TDOC encourages anyone with information about potential security concerns or contraband to call the department’s 24-hour anonymous tip line, 1-844-TDC-FIND (1-844-832-3463).