Troubling new details are surfacing about the depth of illegal smuggling inside Texas’ massive prison system, including glimpses into how convicts may be operating drug- and money-laundering rackets with the help of guards and family members, reports the Austin American-Statesman. The new information surfaced in court filings, revealing that authorities are investigating a 21-year-old Waco woman and at least five convicts for alleged organized criminal activity at the Coffield Unit in East Texas.
Investigators listening in on phone calls made by several convicts at Coffield and intercepting ingoing and outgoing mail believe that some convicts are arranging for their family members to deposit money in one another’s accounts, with the arranging inmate taking a cut of as much as 25 percent. Thousands of dollars were being funneled through the scheme. In a intercepted phone call, one convict admitted buying drugs from another convict – and “although he did not observe guards deliver any dope, he knew they had.” A convict believed to be a point man in the alleged smuggling and money-laundering told his mother in a phone call that he would write her with details on how to handle money orders she was depositing into his prison account.