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American prisons suffering cell phone smuggling explosion.

Nearly 1,400 cell phones were seized from California state prisons in 2007 according to a story published on

That number has now increased more than tenfold to 10,761 in 2010, a figure obtained partly due to better contraband detection systems.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has explained that specially trained mobile hunting dog teams have been crucial in the search.

Complex prison smuggling rackets have emerged in recent years with prison guards, staff and vendors selling smuggled mobile phones for prices anywhere up to $800.

Rick Hill, A Folsom Prison Warden told KCRA that “we’re talking four to five staff a year that we discover and dismiss as a result of their actions,”

The majority of mobiles are used simply to keep in contact with friends and family. Some however are used in drug deals of even escape attempts.

English prisons are not exempt from mobile phone smuggling, the Daily Mail reported earlier in 2010 that handsets were being used to commit crimes from within prisons. The story told how mobile Facebook was being used to intimidate victims from within cells. Amazingly one prisoner, George Moon, had succeeded in orchestrating the trade of small amounts of Cocaine from Panama, an operation that earned him more than £300,000 in prison.


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