Drugs and other illegal items found in cells of three Shelby Co. inmates

By: Lauren Coleman

Updated:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Three Shelby County inmates could be facing felony charges after drugs and other illegal items were found inside their jail cells. 

201 Poplar jail is surrounded by barbed wire, but according to police reports the gates and wires weren't enough to keep contraband out of the jail. 


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23-year-old Markese Alexander, 50-year-old Tony Fason, and 32-year-old Robert Tuggle could face charges of drug possession and added sentencing after illegal drugs were found in their cell. 

All of the searches were conducted on April 21st. 

A retired employee who used to work inside the jail told us he's seen it all. Computers smuggled into the jail and even drugs inside loafs of bread. 

"Inmates have had guns smuggled in. Cell phones are a big thing now, I remember back in the early 80s when we had two or three death row inmates that had a hacksaw that had been smuggled into the jail," said Bennie Cobb, retired captain, Shelby County Sheriff's Office. 
 
"There's rouge employees that bring in contraband to the inmates, and then sometimes the inmates bring them in themselves." said Cobb.
 
He said searches can be null and void if employees are helping to assist the inmates like the Shelby County jailer arrested for brining drugs to a prison inmate at the Hardeman County Correctional Facility just a week ago.
 
"As best the administrations try to eliminate employees bringing in contraband, inmates bringing in contraband, it's a problem that's going to exist because of the human element," said Cobb. 

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