TDOC Makes Contraband Interdiction Arrests

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 | 09:15am

MORGAN COUNTY – Earlier this month, six people were arrested on multiple counts stemming from a Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) investigation into the introduction of contraband into a state prison.  Diligent work by the TDOC Office of Investigations & Compliance in conjunction with the Interdiction team and prison staff resulted in six civilians being arrested and charged with either introduction of contraband into a facility, official misconduct or engaging in sexual contact with an inmate.  Those charged include:

-Brittney Strunk of Robbins, TN

-Andrew Hill of Knoxville, TN

-David Trammell of Winfield, TN

-Patience Case of Heiskell, TN

-David Mabe of Heiskell, TN

-Shannon Lynnette May of Sunbright, TN

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.  Approximately three 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,” TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker said.  “We remain committed to working with local law enforcement to vigorously prosecute anyone who attempts to bring in contraband whether it is an 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, the Correctional Leaders of Association (CLA), 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).