Missing cleaning equipment led to lockdown of Mohave County jail
KINGMAN – Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster says the lockdown status at the Mohave Adult Detention Facility from 9 a.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Monday resulted from a special operation in which a search of inmates, their housing areas and assigned cells were conducted.
“We had identified some missing cleaning supply equipment used by the inmates and began investigating further which led to some initial cell searches and ultimately the special detail,” said Captain Don Bischoff in a press release.
The sheriff’s office reported that during the search officers found small pieces of metal in various stages of being shaped into weapons and tools. A cigarette lighter was also found in the initial search, which had been concealed by an inmate in his rectal cavity. The item was located using a recently installed body scanner.
More than 400 inmates were searched using the body scanner during the weekend. Inmates’ movements were suspended, and they were restricted to their cells while the search took place. Those search efforts were slowed because of the holiday weekend activity and because of the amount of “nuisance contraband” discovered.
Contraband is defined in Arizona statutes as “any dangerous drug, narcotic drug, marijuana, intoxicating liquor, deadly or dangerous weapons, explosives and wireless communication devices,” according to Bischoff. “Also included in that definition is any article whose use or possession would endanger the safety and security of inmates and staff, or the preservation of order within the facility.”
Food, issued clothing, and personal hygiene items can even become contraband if hoarded. Promoting prison contraband involving weapons, explosives and drugs is a class 2 felony. Other cases of contraband are class 5 felonies.
“With the likelihood of weapons and tools being fashioned, it was appropriate to implement search activities and the searches will continue,” wrote Schuster in the release. “Unfortunately, because of the nature of detention operations, we can’t announce to the public in advance when we plan these type of activities.”
Information provided by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office