Fulton County

Raid at Fulton jail: Drugs, shanks, phones and more seized, sheriff believes drones are involved

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office confiscated drugs, tobacco, shanks, a makeshift hatchet, and even a bullet during a recent raid of the Fulton County Jail.

Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Mark Winne spoke with the sheriff about the raid and how they believe some of those items got into the hands of inmates.

Other items seized were cell phones, which can sell for thousands of dollars inside the jail.

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Sheriff Pat Labat believes drones were used to get those items into the jail.

Labat said the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office Jail Strike Team struck a vein of contraband quickly in the first zone they hit on the high-security seventh floor of the jail.

Before Saturday morning was done, men and women normally assigned not just to the jail, but to the courthouse and across the sheriff’s office who had assembled in the early morning darkness, had amassed a massive amount of dangerous material inmates aren’t supposed to have but did.

Natalie Ammons with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said over a half dozen suspected crack pipes were taken from inside the jail.

The sheriff’s office said the shakedown turned up 22 illegal cell phones, suspected marijuana, tobacco, plenty of pills, even a bottle labeled as the prescription drug promethazine.

And then there are the weapons.

“Shanks made from the building. I’m surprised the buildings are still standing,” Labat said.

“Are most of the weapons stripped out of the building?” Winne asked.

“From the plumbing shafts to the lighting fixtures,” Labat responded.

Maj. Burnice Howard with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said inmates used exposed wires in the light fixture to start a fire and then melt a hole in the plastic windows of their cell so they can access contraband delivered to them by drones.

Winne got a reaction from one inmate near the zone about the shakedown.

“We don’t have no problems up here. These folks coming up here antagonizing us. We ain’t got not problems up here,” the inmate said.

“The inmate we interviewed on camera earlier this morning, what did you find in the cell he shares with somebody else?” Winne asked.

“We collected two cell phones out of that cell,” Ammons responded.


“Do you know anything about a couple of cell phones allegedly found in your cell?” Winne asked.

“Don’t know nothing about no contraband. No cell. I’m here awaiting trial,” the inmate responded.

Ammons said there is no way to know if the cellphones belonged to the inmate we interviewed, a cellmate, or someone else and he was not charged with them.

The sheriff’s office said the jail staff does smaller shakedowns on a regular basis, but the last one of this magnitude was shortly before Thanksgiving.

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