By Fallon Bursey
According to WSLS10, dead rats stuffed with drugs, phones, chargers, and SIM cards were found at the HMP Guys Marsh (prison) in Dorset, southwest England. Some of the staff on patrol at the prison located three dead rats in the yard which had stitching alongside the underbelly of the rats, according to the Ministry of Justice in southwest England.
After opening the animals they are said to have found that the insides of the animals had all been removed and replaced with either drugs or some from of technology. This is following the discovery of pigeons and sports ball which have been used as well to smuggle in materials and objects. The pigeons and balls were filled with contraband in hopes of smuggling the addictive, dangerous drug into the prison walls. The Ministry said that the use of rats is new and to their knowledge had not been done before.
It is said that five phones, five chargers, three SIM cards, cigarette papers, tobacco, drugs, cannabis, and “spice” were found and seized among the dead animals. “Spice” is a synthetic cannabinoid which has chemicals related to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in the synthetic drug. “Spice” is however sold by many different names, each capable and often found to contain different chemical compositions. “Spice” is known for its high potency, much more potent than marijuana, which causes serious side effects.
The use of spice has been the cause of many fatalities and medical cases of severe bleeding in the United States. It is now becoming a.increasingly growing problem in the United Kingdom. According to CNN, there was an outbreak of hospitalizations related to spice in Illinois which resulted in 56 severe bleeding treatments and two deaths resulting from the bleeding. According to the report, the cases involved heavy coughing up blood, bloody urine, bloody nose, bloody gums, and other severe symptoms. Nine of these 56 cases were tested for the contents of brodifacoum, or rat poison, according to Illinois Department of Public Health. The state officials are identifying any common use synthetic cannabinoid products in the cases to determine where they are from.
The cases are still posing many unanswered questions about the illnesses involved; however officials are not sure where the contamination came from.
The spokesperson from the Illinois Department of Public Health stated that, “This is the first time we’ve seen an outbreak of this magnitude in the area,” said Melaney Arnold.
The officials in England say they believe the rats were thrown into the prison yard by criminals to be collected by an inmate, and the sold around to other prisoners in the facility.
“This find shows the extraordinary lengths to which criminals will go to smuggle drugs into prison, and underlines why our works to improve security is so important,” said the prison’s minister, Rory Stewart. In another statement, “Drugs and mobile phones behind bars put prisoners, prison officers, and the public at risk. By toughening security and searching, we can ensure prisons are a place of rehabilitation that will prevent further reoffending and keep the public safe.”
Police are said to be actively working with the prison facility to find the perpetrators behind the illegal actions. Officials in England have agreed to invest $21 million dollars, or 16 million euros, to improve the conditions for the prisoners and staff as an action to initiate a safety increase and security in the prisons, according to the ministry.
Another $9 million, or 7 million euros, is to be allocated to fund the implementation of scanners, phone-blocking technology, improved search methods, and a financial crime group to investigate the inmates who run illegal enterprises in jail.
The United Kingdom criminals are the only inmates trying to create new methods of smuggling, selling, and possessing contraband into prisons. Guards at a Moldovan prison have recently also reported that they have seized a drug-smuggling cat in 2013. It is also reported that an inmate of a Costa Rican jail in 2015 had trained a pigeon as well to smuggle in cocaine and marijuana into the prison. Again in 2012, Georgia officers found a dead cat stuffed with cell phones at a prison fence.
While the drugs, the weapons, the alcohol, and the tobacco are usually the contraband, it is said that phones are actually the most dangerous smuggled object, and also the most craved. This is according to Jon Ozmint, the former director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, who told this to CNN in 2015.