8 cell phones found in murder suspect's cell leads to shakedown at jail

ATLANTA — Officers searching cell to cell at the Fulton County jail found homemade weapons and illegal cellphones.

The Fulton County sheriff’s office along with Atlanta corrections officers found six cellphones and several shanks on the max security sixth floor Wednesday.

"We were able to get them before somebody, one of our very own staff, gets hurt or some of the inmates themselves," Fulton County Sheriff's Lt. Derrick Paige said.


The information leading to the search grew out of an even bigger seizure of eight illegal cellphones in a murder suspect’s cell in late July.

Fulton County Sheriff's Maj. Dexter Jenkins said the search started when the Georgia Department of Corrections notified the sheriff's office of a jail inmate on social media possibly from inside the jail.

He said the DART team found two damaged phones in that inmate's cell, prompting a search of the entire cellblock, which turned up the eight phones in the murder suspect's cell.

"Is how they got there under investigation?" Channel 2's Mark Winne asked Jenkins.

"Yes," Jenkins said.

"Do you believe it's corruption?" Winne asked.

"It's possible," Jenkins responded.

Winne spoke with Fulton County detention officer Jason Roache, who said a big part of his job is finding contraband. He said he's never seen anything like the eight cellphones found.

"Nothing's topping that. That's the Holy Grail right there," he said.

Jenkins said cellphones inside the jail can be used to direct crime outside the jail.

"The main concern is the safety of the general public, the staff and visitors inside the Fulton County Jail and inmates alike," he said.