Jailers behind bars for smuggling cellphones in for inmates - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jailers behind bars for smuggling cellphones in for inmates

Quirino Franklin (Source: Crittenden County Sheriff) Quirino Franklin (Source: Crittenden County Sheriff)
Antonio Tillis (Source: Crittenden County Sheriff) Antonio Tillis (Source: Crittenden County Sheriff)
Joe Lee Jimerson (Source: Crittenden County Sheriff) Joe Lee Jimerson (Source: Crittenden County Sheriff)

(WMC-TV) - Can you hear me now? If you're behind bars the answer is supposed to be ‘No.'

But when some Crittenden County inmates got their hands on cell phones, three jailers were sent to jail to join them.

The three jailers, Joe Lee Jimerson, Quirino Franklin, and Antonio Tillis, who was a supervisor, are all charged with felonies. They are accused of smuggling prohibited items into the correctional facility and selling them to the inmates.

"They were in turn being paid by the inmates to bring some of the items into the jail," said Crittenden County Chief Deputy Mike Callender. "One of the phones was brought in, we, from our information, for $150."

Investigators believe the three men had been working together for a while, undermining the purpose of jail.

"It seems like an awful lot to risk for such a little amount," said Chief Callender. "Everybody in Crittenden County brings their prisoners to this facility. So it's a security issue. I mean, if you can get a cell phone in, you can get a gun in. And when you can't trust your own people, the people that are running the jail, and on a day-to-day activity, it's a serious concern."

Jimerson posted a $50,000 bond. Franklin and Tillis were due in court Wednesday afternoon to have their bonds set.

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