Man tried to throw drug-filled football into prison yard

LANSING, Mich. — A Detroit man is facing felony charges after he allegedly tried to throw a football containing drugs, cell phones and other contraband into the yard of a state prison.

The throw on Sunday came up short and the football landed between two fences at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson, Mich., and did not land in the yard where prisoners exercise, said Trooper Toby Baker of the Michigan State Police Jackson post.

A prison officer who was in the parking lot saw the man throw the football — which contained heroin, marijuana, tobacco, three cell phones and chargers — and he was apprehended at the scene.

"After observing the passenger exit the vehicle and throw the football, our officer ran towards the vehicle and drew his Taser and told the driver to stop, which he did," said Russ Marlan, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Christen Deon-Sterling Moore, 32, is charged with crimes related to delivery of heroin and marijuana and smuggling cell phones to prisoners, Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka said Tuesday. Each is a five-year felony. A conference will be held Friday on how to proceed with the case. Moore has been arraigned but it was not clear whether he is free on bond.

"We take very seriously the security of our prisons and will prosecute any violations of contraband that occur," Jarzynka said.

Corrections officers have complained it's easier to throw contraband over prison fences after the department stopped manning gun towers and ended regular perimeter patrols at state prisons.

But prison officials say random or irregular perimeter patrols and manning of towers, along with improved lighting and video surveillance, is more effective.

"The idea to staff these randomly came from our wardens — people who have a lot of experience with custody and security inside and out of prisons, and who have worked their way to leadership roles within our system," Marlan said.

"They studied the continuous manning of these posts and didn't see the return on the investment."


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