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SC prison officials seize $140K worth of tobacco, phones

Officers from Goodman Correctional Institution found six garbage bags filled with 56 pounds of tobacco, 37 cellphones and 37 chargers


By Greg Hadley
The State

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Security teams at a South Carolina correctional facility uncovered a large stash of contraband Wednesday, seizing more than 50 pounds of tobacco and three dozen phones, SC Department of Corrections officials announced.

Officers from Goodman Correctional Institution, located at 4556 Broad River Road in Columbia, found the stash — six garbage bags filled with 56 pounds of tobacco, 37 cell phones and 37 chargers — on prison grounds. The estimated value was put at $140,000.

Police are investigating, the department said in a tweet.

Goodman Correctional Institution is a minimum security facility on Broad River Road in Columbia. As of Thursday, there are currently 355 inmates in the facility.

Visitation was suspended across the SCDC corrections system for 30 days in March in response to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The following month, all visitation, volunteer, work release and labor programs were suspended through May.

There have been at least 60 positive cases of COVID-19 among inmates in the system, with 63 staff members testing positive as well. At Goodman, one staff member has tested positive, while no inmates have.

Prisons have seen some of the leading concentrated outbreaks of coronavirus cases during the pandemic, as inmates, staff members and deputies are in close confinement. In effort to stop the spread within facilities, SCDC said it has provided two masks to every inmate and taken other measures, such as increased screening, reduced intake and isolating symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals based on risk factors.


©2020 The State (Columbia, S.C.)