Officials with the Decatur County Correctional Institute and Decatur County Sheriff’s Office arrested an inmate’s mother after discovering an ongoing conspiracy to smuggle contraband into the prison.
According to Investigator Redell Walton with the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, the Decatur County Correctional Institution got wind of a plan to place contraband in an inmate work area and were able to bust the woman in the process. An inmate from Thomasville, Robert Moss, allegedly instructed his mother, Sabrina Moss, to obtain some Bugler Tobacco, cellophane bags and tape. She was further instructed to wrap the contraband and hide it in an area where the inmate work detail would be working.
According to Warden Gordon Screen, Jr., an informant notified authorities that Sabrina Moss, 54, had been making “drops” for her son on her regular visits. Armed with that information, DCCI notified investigators with the Sheriff’s Office who set up surveillance on several suspected drop off locations. In an effort to provide additional manpower, Warden Screen decided to work on Sunday and survey the suspected areas himself. Warden Screen tailed Moss after she left her Sunday visitation and observed some erratic behavior, stating “She rode behind the jail near the woodline, made a u-turn, turned right on Airport Road, made another u-turn and headed south again. I made the block by going through the Industrial Park and observed her throwing something into the dumpster at the new 911 center” (Inmates are currently replacing the roof of the 911 center and Moss was tossing something into the construction dumpster on that site)
At that time, Warden Screen made contact with Moss and confronted her about the suspected contraband, to which she eventually admitted. Inside the dumpster, authorities found 12 bags of Bugler cigarettes and 18 empty plastic bags. A search of her car revealed an additional 12 bags of cigarettes and tape.
Investigator Walton arrived and placed her under felony arrest. She was charged under O.C.G.A 42-5-18 which states, “(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to obtain for, to procure for, or to give to an inmate a gun, pistol, or any other weapon; any intoxicating liquor; amphetamines, biphetamines, or any other hallucinogenic drugs or other drugs, regardless of the amount; any telecommunications device; or any other article or item without the authorization of the warden or superintendent or his or her designee.” The law specifies that anyone who violates will be charged with a felony: “(d) A person who commits or attempts to commit a violation of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than one nor more than five years”
During questioning, Moss told investigators that her son would contact her via cell phone, another item that is prohibited in the prison. DCCI employees searched the inmate, but weren’t able to recover the phone. However, based on the information she provided, they knew the number that she received the calls from. DCCI employees eventually found a cell phone in another inmate’s cell that matched the phone number making the calls.
Authorities with the Decatur County Correctional Institute and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office are working to curb the introduction of contraband into the jail and state prison. Said Warden Screen, “It’s a felony. Anytime one inmate has something that another inmate doesn’t have, it can lead to fights and violence. We’re trying to curb that trend and make our prison safer”.