PARCHMAN – A Cherokee Jeep stuck in the mud at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman has led to the arrests of four people and the seizure of six bags filled with contraband items, including 64 pounds of tobacco, 11.4 ounces of marijuana, and multiple cell phones.
Earlier this week, an investigator with the Corrections Investigation Division received a call from MSP’s Central Security that a package containing contraband had been thrown over the fence at Unit 29. Other CID Investigators were notified and proceeded to conduct a foot patrol. Wednesday morning, they came upon a 2004 Jeep Cherokee stuck in the field near Minot Road just north of MSP. Four occupants inside were ordered out and on the ground until assistance arrived. They were taken into custody with the assistance of MSP K-9 and transported to the CID Office for questioning.
Six duffel and trash bags were found in the woods near the fence and by the jeep. They contained 11.4 ounces of marijuana, 12 lighters, three Zig Zag Blunt Wraps, four books of J&B papers, two I-Phones, one I-Phone charger, two packs of Newport Cigarettes, two tooth brushes, five Samsung Verizon phones, five Samsung chargers, one Motorola phone, one blue & white bandana, a 2.5-lb block of Tops papers, and 64 1-lb bags of smoking tobacco.
Later, Christina Tegethof, 34, of Horn Lake; Johnny Thomas Davis Jr., 34, of Bartlett, Tenn.; and Truman Douglas Ray, 19, of Byhalia, who is currently on probation with MDOC, were charged with conspiracy to introduce contraband. The fourth person, a 17-year-old male, will be charged with possession. The three adults were taken to the Sunflower County Jail. The juvenile was taken to Leflore County Detention Center and had a detention hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Sunflower County Youth Court. The minor was ordered to do 10 days of detox, and upon completion, he will be placed on house arrest in Marshall County until his court date is set.
Interviews with those arrested determined that offender Charles Derryberry, #K0723, allegedly was involved in the planning of the conspiracy to introduce contraband, said CID Director Sean K. Smith. Derryberry was searched and placed in lockdown.
“Contraband is one of the worst problems we face in the prison system. Vigilant employees are the ones we depend on to fight this,” Smith said.
“Everyone involved in these arrests should be commended,” Commissioner Christopher B. Epps said. “They did exactly what we should do whenever we get information about contraband – move swiftly, decisively and carefully. So anyone out there thinking about tossing contraband over the fence at Parchman or any other MDOC facility should take notice.”
The penalty for introduction of contraband is a fine of up to $25,000.00 and imprisonment for no less than three years and no more than seven years; and the person will not be eligible for probation, parole, suspension of sentence, earned time allowance or any other reduction of sentence.
The incident is still under investigation.