Vendor charged with taking contraband to prison

James Brooks

By Monica Land

James Brooks (Photo courtesy of the Rankin County jail)

PEARL – A 26-year-old Canton man has been released on a $50,000 bond after allegedly trying to smuggle drugs, alcohol, cell phones and other items into a correctional facility in Pearl.

Twenty-six-year-old James Brooks was released from jail Monday following his arrest on Friday, July 26. Brooks, a truck driver for a private vendor, was taken into custody after a search of the Stericycle truck he had driven to the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility turned up the contraband.

MDOC officials discovered cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, 46 cell phones, 44 phone charges, an I-Pod, alcohol, 94 vacuumed packed bags of tobacco, 21 lighters, a pack of hearing aid batteries and 21 bags of yeast.

Brooks was taken to the Rankin County Jail and charged with possession of alcohol at a prison, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, introduction of contraband, conspiracy to introduce contraband, and possession of tobacco at a prison.

MDOC said all vehicles entering a correctional facility are searched by security staff.

Items the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) confiscated from James Brooks following a search of his truck. (Photo courtesy of MDOC)

“Eventually, after enough people get convicted on these attempts to bring contraband into prison, we will put a stop to these reckless plans. I can't help but wonder if this man who was charged…ever asked himself if this plan was really worth doing time in prison,'' Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said in a statement.

MDOC said other items found during the search were five cans of chewing tobacco, five cell phone batteries, four AT&T Go Sim cards, one T-Mobile Sim card, one Micro SD Scan Disk, various packs of cigars and cigarillos, 45 packs of top rolling papers and one pack of toothbrushes.

Stericycle's website says it offers services like medical waste management.

Last month, MDOC said two correction officers were arrested at the same prison after contraband items were found during random vehicle searches.

One was charged with felony possession of marijuana and the other with misdemeanor possession of tobacco.