Two prison inmates and their prison wives are facing felony charges for conspiring to smuggle in contraband. All four are charged with conspiring to smuggle cellphones and screwdrivers to use in planned prison escapes. The two men are incarcerated at the Center County Correctional Facility in Benner township, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Contraband Mistakenly Placed At the Wrong Place for Collection
38-year-old Latif K. Simmons had secured the cooperation of his wife, 54-year-old Tammy Simmons. And, 36-year-old Vernon Patillo got his wife, 40-year-old Ganaya R. Davis to also help smuggle in contraband for the prison escape plot.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, the accused had smuggled into the prison:
- 2 cellphones
- Phone chargers
- Complete pack of torx screwdrivers
Plan to Smuggle in Contraband Bungled
The items had been hidden inside a toilet tissue box and deposited at a prearranged place within the prison facility. The plan was to deliver the box with the contraband to the warehouse of the prison. It was then to be moved to the facility’s A Unit.
But, it ended up being placed at the wrong location, where it was discovered. One of the accused prison wives is now in custody pending outcome of court proceedings. The other accused prison wife is awaiting preliminary hearing for her part in the conspiracy to smuggle in contraband.
Phone Records and Financial Evidences Nailed the Wives
The incident occurred in July 2016, and the wives were charge for conspiracy in August 2017. Investigators analyzed phone records between Latif K. Simmons and his wife as well as Ganaya Davis, Patillo’s wife.
Simmons had provided the wives with detailed directives on how to deliver the articles to the designated spot within the prison facility.
Incidentally, investigations show this is the second time Simmons will be dealing in contraband charges. He is awaiting trial for earlier smuggling cellphones into prison institutions, before he masterminded the current incident.
Patillo and his wife Davis first denied having anything to do with the charge. But they later owned up and explained their roles in the whole conspiracy to smuggle in contraband:
- Davis had been paid $700 for her role
- Simmons’ wife Tammy had received $250 for using the names of other prison visitors
The four accused are now charged with conspiracy and felony charges, to wit, “smuggling telecommunication devices and instruments of escape” into the Benner state prison.