Oklahoma County Jail staff literally pulled at threads used by inmates to pass notes between cells that were orchestrating an operation to smuggle contraband into the jail.
According to county records, the notes were found on what are known as “Cadillacs”, lengths of string used to pass objects under doors and between cells. One of the notes mentioned bricks being removed from somewhere in the jail.
After searching several cells, deputies found two cells phones and then, they found a hole.
“It was actually large enough to get to pass a person through to the other side,” Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Mark Opgrande said.
The hole went to a cell that wasn't being used. It had been left empty because of plumbing problems. There, jail staff found contraband and another hole leading to the outside, small enough to go unseen when standing in the parking lot, but large enough through which to pass contraband.
“They would at times throw some string which was basically thin sheets tied together out from the 12th floor down to the bottom, and they'd have people tie stuff,” said Opgrande.
Sheriff's deputies have charged Daniel Garcia, 24, Theresa Placker, 28, and Reginald Moore,34.
Placker and Moore are already at the center of an investigation as accomplices that allegedly helped the fugitive killer Michael Vance obtain weapons before he was shot and killed by police.
Smugglers aren't new to the jail. The sheriff's office routinely reports finding contraband. the cause they say is poor construction of the jail from the time it opened.
“The way that the construction was, the way that the cement is between the cells and also to the outside,” Opgrande said. “So that's always been a concern.”