MCSO finds tobacco products, makeshift knives jail search - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

MCSO finds tobacco products, makeshift knives during jail search

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PHOENIX -

For the second time in as many months, Sheriff Joe Arpaio's detention officers conducted a massive shakedown inside a Maricopa County jail looking for all kinds of contraband.

One minute its a leisurely Saturday morning in the common area of a cell block
at the Lower Buckeye Jail, and then, without any warning, two flash-bang grenades send inmates scrambling as special response team members move in for a massive coordinated shakedown.

"We didn't want them to know and give them a chance to hide stuff we want to be able to find it," said Chris Hegstrom, with Maricopa County Sheriff's office.

More than 140 officers and volunteers worked to clear out all kinds of contraband from every area in this 600,000 square foot facility.

While these inmates have so little contact with the outside world, and so few opportunities to get their hands on anything, they still somehow manage to come up with creative uses for just about everything.

"Routinely the sheriff orders us to do this, just to go through and make sure. Again, it's for officers' safety, it's for inmates' safety, we don't want anybody injured and this is one way we can curtail some of that," said Hegstrom.

Unlike the heightened racial tension at the 4th Avenue Jail shakedown last month, this one was for safety reasons alone, according to the sheriff's office.
    
The haul....? Cigarettes, other tobacco products and smokeable items, makeshift shanks fashioned from everything from pencils to medical braces and, of course, the special brew of homemade hooch, as it's known.

It was all removed for the purpose of running a tight ship in the Maricopa County jail System.

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