Last updated: June 26. 2014 6:18PM - 1065 Views
By - iscarbrough@civitasmedia.com

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POLKTON — State and federal officials conducted a lockdown at Lanesboro Correctional Institution to search for contraband on Wednesday.

Officers used K-9 teams during the search, which turned up one cellphone and one homemade weapon, according to N.C. Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Pamela Walker.

“The Department of Public Safety conducted a security operation with both internal and external partners in effort to protect staff, inmates and the general public,” she said in an email. “We did have a large contingent of folks there to show strong support for our staff.”

Although the prison was on lockdown for the duration of the search, Walker said normal operations resuned on Thursday and that the search had not been concentrated on a particular area of the prison.

“There is no one specific event or concentrated area of focus,” she said. “This is a comprehensive, collaborative assessment that DPS asked for to determine what may be going on and what preemptive measures are warranted.”

Agencies involved in the search were the Division of Prisons, Prison Emergency Response Team, N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement Division, N.C. Highway Patrol, the State Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.

“More than anything, it is a strong showing of support to our employees, the inmates who want to do their time without trouble, as well as the general public,” Walker said.

Inmates were put on lockdown for several months following an attack on a corrections officer last November in what was one of many events that have attracted criticism of the prison. Searches conducted after the attack revealed cellphones, improvised weapons and marijuana.

Lanesboro Correctional Institution is a high-security prison in Anson County with a maximum capacity of 1,400 inmates and a staff of 514.

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