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Bill would crack down on cellphone smuggling in Nebraska prisons

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 18:24:26-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Smuggling a cellphone into a Nebraska prison could soon lead to a misdemeanor charge under a bill designed to help officials who confiscated more than 250 contraband phones last year.

Nebraska corrections director Scott Frakes told a legislative committee Wednesday that many phones are thrown over security fences in the middle of the night or smuggled inside by visitors and prison employees. At least two phones were sent to prisons through the state's laundry system.

Frakes says it's a growing problem for corrections officials who are trying to keep the state prisons safe. His comments came in testimony on a bill by Sen. Justin Wayne, of Omaha, to formally ban most cellphones from state prisons.

Wayne says he's still working on the bill to decide who would be exempt.