DOC says the increase in contraband is a good sign that their efforts are working.
Guam – Cellphones, sim cards and chewing tobacco were the latest contraband discovered during a perimeter check at the Department of Corrections.
Contraband was found at the Department of Corrections in the buffer zone that is the area between the outer fence line and the inner fence line and according to Deputy Director Kate Baltazar, the discovery is a good thing.
“So as a positive, the result is that we are catching it and previously we are not,” she noted.
While it may seem as though reports of contraband is increasing, Baltazar says on the bright side, DOC is catching the contraband before it makes its way into the facility.
“In the early morning hours, early Monday morning, during a perimeter check, some of our corrections officers discovered a small package which landed in the buffer zone and upon further inspection it was discovered that some cellphones, I believe two cell phones, sim cards and some chewing tobacco,” said Baltazar.
Baltazar says that the contraband was found in Zone 10 which is behind Post 17.
“The director of corrections has opened an internal affairs investigation into this incident and we are speculating that it was probably thrown over. That is a common way that contraband is attempted to be smuggled into our facility and in that general area,” explained Baltazar.
Smuggling of contraband is inherent to any prison facility no matter the size or technological methods used. Contraband remains an issue and the Department of Corrections is no different. Baltazar attributes discoveries such as this to Operation Green Vigilance.
“I would like to say that we commend the efforts of our corrections officers who are vigilant and know that they are trained and they have our support in their contraband interdiction efforts,” she said, “We have really stepped up our efforts as part of Operation Green Vigilance and one of the things on that you would think regular perimeter checks are common sensible things that a prison facility would do so our prison facility, without giving away too much detail, has increased its efforts with perimeter checks in frequency, utilizing our SORT team which is a special operations response team in their special training in contraband interdiction.”
DOC is also equipped with 18 perimeter cameras, the eye in the sky camera and they now have metal detection wands that can detect cell phones and other contraband at all points of entry. Baltazar adds that they also have a partnership with Guam Customs and Quarantine K9 unit for drug detection.
“We are sending the message to any would-be smugglers that we are on the lookout and we will thwart your efforts,” she warned.
Baltazar says that this incident is not related to the damaged inner fence line discovered last week. But they remain concerned that this is the second fence line damaged discovered within the month. DOC is tracking the incidences which they take very seriously and are using all means to figure out how they are occurring.