TRI-CITIES, Wash. - It's life on the outs versus life behind bars and for hundreds of prisoners at the Coyote Ridge Correctional Facility in Connell. So, spending hours of the day on a work crew is a special privilege. But it's also a temptation.
Recently a group of smugglers unsuccessfully tried to get a bag filled with contraband goods into the prison. One woman from Pasco allegedly dropped off bags of tobacco and marijuana laced with meth for a work crew in West Richland to pick up.
"This is chewing tobacco... PVC tape used to wrap it all up tight and this is a quarter roll with weed it also tested positive for meth," said West Richland Police Chief Layne Erdman as he showed the seized goods.
It's not easy for prison guards to find the drugs and tobacco that's usually well hidden in balloons, condoms, or wrapped up in electrical tape and inserted into the body.
When the contraband is found, it can add time to prison sentences by taking away from "good time". That means tax payers are paying for prisoners to serve out extra punishments for a cigarette.