Inmates caught smuggling contraband into Pinellas County jail - FOX 13 News

Inmates caught smuggling contraband into Pinellas County jail

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LARGO (FOX 13) -

The phone call coming from inside the Pinellas County Jail is frantic.

"It broke. It is laying on the ground," said inmate Philip Henderson.

Henderson called Eric Snook, who had just left the jail after visiting to tell them their fishing expedition hit a snag.

"Eric, you can't leave it on the shelf," Henderson pleaded during the call.

For months, investigators said Snook helped smuggle cigarettes, lighters and marijuana to Henderson and another inmate, Mark Keating, on the sixth floor.

From inside the jail, Keating would lower a line down a small rain gutter. Then Snook would fill up a bag for them to reel back up -- but this time it broke.

"Just relax Eric. Listen to me, we can't leave that lying on the ground," Henderson said.

Snook would leave the bag and deputies would find the contraband.

"It is pretty ingenious. It shows where there is a will there is a way," said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

Gualtieri said they've put up fences to make sure this never happens again.

"The system seems to work. I mean, we will look at it and consider it, but I really think this is an anomaly situation.

It's something we are going to have to give some thoughts and consideration to," the sheriff said.

Gualtieri said they've combed the jail, making sure no other contraband made it inside.

Snook is no longer a visitor -- he is now an inmate. All three are being charged with introduction of contraband into a correctional facility. The sheriff said they're still investigating to see if anyone else was involved.

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