Footballs Stuffed With Contraband Intercepted At State Prison

On May 18, someone attempted to get contraband into the Harnett Correctional Institute in Lillington, by throwing these footballs, which were cut open, filled with contraband and taped closed. An observant employee noticed someone throwing them and alerted staff. SUBMITTED PHOTO/NCDPS

Cellphones, drugs, chargers and cigarettes were stuffed into footballs hurled over the prison-wire fence in Lillington last week, but the pass was intercepted.

Contraband — meant for inmates at Harnett Correctional Institution — never made it past the defense of a vigilant employee at the prison’s meat processing plant.

The Corrections Enterprises worker saw someone outside the perimeter, tossing something over the fence on May 18, according to the state communications officer of adult corrections Jerry Higgins. When staff members went to investigate, they found 11 footballs, which had been cut open, filled with the contraband and taped shut. The items were seized by prison staff.

“I have to commend our staff for the outstanding job they do on a daily basis here,” said Harnett Correctional Warden John Godfrey. “Their training and experience in curtailing contraband keeps everyone safe.”

The footballs contained a treasure trove of illicit items: 11 cellphones, about a pound of loose tobacco, 283 cigarettes, a dozen phone chargers, a bluetooth speaker, a beard trimmer, two watches, 50 grams of the synthetic marijuana K2 (Spice), four bottles of liquid K2, two grams of marijuana and a pack of rolling papers.

North Carolina Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee, said the attempt to send the items into the facility and the subsequent seizure, was just another challenge to staff who are charged with maintaining security at the prison.

“Contraband remains a challenge in prisons, even during a pandemic,” Ishee said. “It’s remarkable. But our staff is remarkable as well. They do a great job.”

The case remains under investigation.

-Dunn Daily Record