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Contraband removal operation conducted at Holman

More than 300 law enforcement officials conducted an operation early this morning to find and remove illegal contraband at William C. Holman Correctional Facility, according to the Alabama Department of Corrections.

The operation was launched at 4:30 a.m., and officials from local, county and state law enforcement agencies participated. The operation lasted until late Thursday evening.

According to the release, ADOC Deputy Commissioner of Operations Charles Daniels led the operation at the prison, which is just outside Atmore.

Participating agencies included resources from Pardons and Paroles, AEMA, ADOT, Atmore, Bay Minette, Brewton Police Departments, and support from the Baldwin, Butler, Escambia and Monroe County Sheriff’s Departments.

“The ADOC is conducting these large scale joint operations in a move to eradicate contraband, identify deficiencies, and to take all necessary steps to reverse the trend of increased violence caused by illegal activity inside our prisons,” Daniels said in the release. “We are going to do whatever is necessary to eliminate the contraband problem while sending a message to those who are responsible.  Such criminal activity will not be tolerated and anyone who is caught bringing illegal items into our prisons will be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Additionally, the ADOC conducted a similar operation at the St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville.

ADOC Director of Investigations and Intelligence Arnaldo Mercado said the operation was an overall success in a Friday release.

“At the end of the day, our ADOC team assisted by officers from our partnering law enforcement agencies found and removed considerable quantities of contraband.  We inspected every inch of the facility and left no stone unturned,” Mercado said.

Officials seized large quantities illegal drugs, weapons, cellphones and various types of electronic devices.  The operation recovered 356 makeshift weapons,  91 grams of meth, 98 grams of marijuana, cocaine, more than 400 assorted pills, and 16 cell phones.

Daniels led the operation with assistance from ADOC investigations and intelligence agents, correctional emergency response teams, andcorrectional K-9 drug units.  Supporting law enforcement included Pardons and Paroles, AEMA, ADOT, Atmore, Bay Minette, Brewton Police Departments, and support from the Baldwin, Butler, Escambia and Monroe County Sheriff’s Departments.

Daniels said the ADOC will continue to conduct the unannounced joint operations at other major correctional facilities in the future with assistance from other law enforcement agencies.

Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn instituted the joint operations by using all available ADOC and state resources to address the proliferation of drugs and other contraband entering state correctional institutions.

“We are committing all internal and external resources to address the contraband problem inside our prisons to ensure we provide the highest degree of safety and protection for our correctional staff and those who are in our custody. We owe them nothing less,” Dunn said in the release.

The public should contact the ADOC Investigations and Intelligence Division at 1-866-293-7799 with information that may lead to the arrest of anyone attempting to introduce illegal contraband into state prisons. The public may also report suspicious activity by going to the ADOC Website at http://www.doc.alabama.gov/investigationrequest.