Stephens County jail shakedown yields weapons, drugs, and hooch - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Stephens County jail shakedown yields weapons, drugs, and hooch

Stephens County_On Friday, authorities say they uncovered drugs, weapons, and homemade alcohol during a shakedown at the Stephens County jail.  Many of the 105 inmates imprisoned there are now on lockdown, facing charges for having contraband in the jail.  The sheriff says he believes some of the items were smuggled in, but others - including several shanks - were made from scratch.  He says one inmate even had a razor blade attached to a shoe to use as a weapon.

Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney says this is the first shakedown of this magnitude he has seen in a long time.  He says he has been planning it since he took office in January, and it took about 40 officers and deputies, along with four drug dogs to make it happen.

They discovered over-the-counter pills, prescription drugs, and even methamphetamine in the possession of inmates.  "Surprised - and not surprised - about what we found based on what we'd been hearing," said McKinney.  "We'd been getting information there were some things in the jail that weren't supposed to be there," said Lieutenant Lawson Guthrie.

The information they got proved to be accurate, and a team of law enforcement personnel from the Sheriff's Department, Duncan Police, and Jefferson County removed all of the inmates from their cells, searched their persons and their living spaces.  They say what they found could hurt other people, or even the inmates themselves.  "They may have a shank waiting for them in the hallway," said Guthrie.  "All they do is grab it from underneath a table, and then here we are - we have a shank in the courthouse, and then everybody is at risk then."

They discovered bags of bottles filled with ‘hooch.'  "It's like moonshine," said Guthrie.  "They make it back there in the cells, and once it's good, then they drink it.  "It will either make them sick, or make them drunk, or both."  If hooch doesn't do the job, inmates may simply drink soap water.  "They will drink the soap to make them sick so they can get out of the jail for a while to go to the hospital."  If it's a self-inflicted sickness, Guthrie says it could pose an escape risk. 

Many inmates may not be happy, but McKinney has some advice:  "My response to them is they're going to have to live by these rules, and if they don't, just don't come back - it's that simple." 

The question remains to be answered as to how some of the contraband got into the jail.  The sheriff says he has not been able to pinpoint a source, but with new security measures he says he hopes to intercept any future contraband.  McKinney says this is the first of many shakedowns to come, and he's disappointed in some of the jail's Trustys.  He says they also were involved with some of the contraband.

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