Nine indicted for smuggling items into Shelby County Penal Farm - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Nine indicted for smuggling items into Shelby County Penal Farm

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Nine Shelby County inmates have been indicted after police busted what they called Operation: Rooftop Smuggler, officials said Monday.

Harvey Kennedy of the Shelby County Mayor's office said the busts would help cut down on illegal items making it into Shelby County's penal farm.

"It's just a fact of life in the prison facility," he said. "Contraband's gonna make its way in."

But the indictments may solve the problem of illegal drugs and cell phones making their way into the jail facility.

Investigators said the ring revolved around Anthony Peoples, who locked up for breaking into Boatwright's pharmacy in Millington. 

When other inmates wanted something smuggled inside, Peoples was the point person.  Investigators said Peoples would call his girlfriend, Brenda Curtis, who is accused of collecting money and coordinating the deliveries.

Then, it was as simple as throwing the package over the outer fence and onto the roof.  Often, items like cell phones or drugs were hidden in hollowed out, rubber footballs that were heaved over the fence.

Monday, Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham said prison officials are always on high alert.

"We'll do all that we can to prevent it," he said.

But should something slide in, Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said, the Peoples case sends a message.

"If you do it, we're gonna get you, eventually," he said.

Nine people were indicted, and two prison employees resigned, though neither was charged.

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