FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2019 file photo, fences line the outside of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio. Ohio authorities have seized several fake guns and a fake explosive in the prison in what they call “a very serious and unique situation.” Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith says contraband drawings of pistols were also seized Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, file)
COLUMBUS, Ohio-Ohio authorities seized three fake guns, drawings of guns and a fake explosive in a maximum-security prison in what they call “a very serious and unique situation.”
An investigation of the incident that unfolded Tuesday night at the Southern Ohio Correctional facility in Lucasville, said prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith.
The first item found was a fake explosive, located in a hole in a shower stall frame, and built of grout and curls, a copper wire of earphones, batteries, and a small radio, said Smith, spokeswoman for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
The weapons, made to resemble Glock pistols, were made of soap, pieces of glasses, battery enclosure, and carbon paper legal-kits delivered to inmates, ” she said. s of a fourth weapon were also found.
Events leading to the search began after a prisoner named The Associated Press Tuesday afternoon, warning of a possible hijacking plot in the works.
The AP contacted the State Highway Patrol, who investigated, together with the prison authorities.
The inmates involved were placed in restrictive housing and the facility was back to normal Wednesday, said Smith.
“This was a very serious and unique situation,” she said in an e-mail. “We take very seriously any information that suggests that there may be weapons in our facilities and immediate actions are taken to ensure the safety and security of staff and inmates.”
Prisoners with fake weapons can form the same kind of threat as the robbers who claim to have guns in their pockets, real or not, said Richard Light, one in Los Angeles on the basis of the prison and police practices expert.
“It’s no different in jail, in prison,” he said. “If someone produces a weapon that in the thought to be real, then that’s a problem.”
What the problem are scattered examples of real weapons being smuggled into prisons, said Light.
As a high-security prison, Lucasville has many prisoners tortured to discipline problems in other facilities.
A 2016 legislative prison inspection committee found that Lucasville has traditionally been a high attack statistics, partly as a result of the gang-affiliated prisoners.
An 11-day uprising at the prison in 1993, is one of the longest and most deadly, which nine inmates and a guard dead by the time it ended.
Two former Lucasville prisoners face charges in Scioto County for the stabbing of a guard 32 times last year in the vicinity of a prison in the infirmary.
One of those prisoners has also been charged in 2017 in a knife attack on four other prisoners who were chained to a table and unable to defend themselves.