Meridian Star

February 26, 2013

Inmates arrested for ‘fishing’

By Brian Livingston / blivingston@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     A common trick by inmates to try and get items, otherwise known as contraband, inside a correctional facility is to throw a line out of a window over a wall so someone from the outside can attach contraband to it.

    This is known as fishing.

    Inmates at the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department are now facing charges in connection with attempts to bring contraband into the jail. Others from outside the jail are also charged, said Ward Calhoun, chief deputy of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department.

    "During a routine patrol outside the jail perimeter, guards found evidence someone inside was trying to get in contact with someone on the outside," said Calhoun. "We believe we intervened before any contraband was introduced into the jail."

    Charged in the investigation are Lauderdale County inmates Darrell Tyler Long and Travis Eugene Sullivan III, both 19. Long is charged with three counts of conspiracy to introduce contraband into a correctional facility while Sullivan is charged with conspiracy. Long was serving time for a probation violation and Sullivan was being held in connection with burglary and receiving stolen property offenses.

    Calhoun said two other people, Thomas Wayne Taylor, 26, and Janie Ruth Long, 42, were also arrested by authorities. A 14-year-old boy was also charged but will be handled through the Lauderdale County Juvenile Court system.

    Taylor is charged with conspiracy to commit a felony while Janie Ruth Long is charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, directing or causing a youth to commit a felony, and probation violation.

    Calhoun said on Feb. 14, jail officers were making their rounds outside the perimeter of the jail when they noticed a window was broken. Several strands of string were leading out of the window over the wall to the street. The officers notified investigators who launched a probe into who was responsible for the broken window and the attempt to introduce contraband into the jail.

    "The investigation is ongoing and there may be more charges and more people arrested in connection with this case," Calhoun said.