Jason Clark, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), confirmed rumors about an incident involving contraband found inside a bag left behind at the Curt Johnson Visitor Center, located near the prison.
On June 22, night shift personnel found a bag at the visitor center. The center is not on state property, but is staffed by TDCJ personnel.
The bag had a note attached that said it was found at the center, Clark explained.
“A correctional officer found that, and saw that it was unusual and brought it over to the prison to search the bag,” Clark said.
When officers searched the bag they found a half-gallon of vodka, more than $900 in cash, a quarter-ounce of marijuana and a pipe.
“All of those you can’t have on state property, and the marijuana is illegal anywhere,” Clark explained regarding the contraband items.
The next morning a woman called the prison and said she had left a bag at the visitor’s center and she was trying to get it back. She spoke with the warden and tried to convince him to ship the bag to her via UPS.
During the conversation, the warden was careful not to let her know that the bag had been opened and searched. The warden gathered her information over the course of several phone calls, as she repeatedly tried her best to get the bag back.
The warden contacted the Office of Inspector General and passed along the information for their use in the investigation of the incident.
Finally, Clark explained, the woman apparently gave up on trying to get the bag shipped to her. She called the prison one more time and told prison officials that she would be flying into San Antonio, would rent a car and travel to Kenedy to pick up her missing bag.
When she arrived at the Connally Unit, OIG investigators were waiting there to meet her.
The investigators interviewed the woman and the woman confessed that the bag was hers.
The woman has not yet been arrested, Clark explained, because of some complicated circumstances regarding the alleged crime.
“At this point what is going to happen, is they have submitted it to the special prosecution unit, to determine the appropriate charges,” Clark said.
There may be a grand jury indictment as a result of the incident, Clark said.