Breach Discovered By Security Staff
WARTBURG – Tennessee Department of Correction security staff at Morgan County Correctional Complex have uncovered an attempt to introduce contraband into the facility by inmate Robert Fusco #455473. While the investigation is ongoing, the Department has collected evidence that Fusco – who was a minimum security inmate - breached the secure perimeter of the facility. Although this case is highly unusual, it appears that the inmate was not trying to flee custody but was in fact attempting to introduce contraband into the facility. The Department anticipates Fusco being charged with escape due to purposefully breaching perimeter security.
“While I appreciate the staff for their diligence in uncovering this situation, it is obvious that security protocols were violated,” shared Commissioner Tony Parker. He adds “This investigation is still active and ongoing. I reached out to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which was approved by the District Attorney, to ensure that we have a coordinated effort to investigate both internally and externally. Any person involved in this breach be it staff, inmate, or community members should know that we will hold them accountable and aggressively seek prosecution for their involvement.”
Inmate Fusco has been reassigned to West Tennessee State Penitentiary. He is now classified as a maximum custody inmate.
This breach highlights the threat that contraband and those looking to introduce contraband pose to correctional facilities. This threat is not limited to TDOC facilities, but negatively affects prisons throughout the country. TDOC's Chief Interdiction Officer is actively working with law enforcement partners at all levels to not only detect contraband but prevent contraband from entering prisons.
In addition to this multi-agency partnership, Commissioner Tony Parker is traveling to Washington, DC in a few weeks to meet with officials from the Federal Communications Commission to discuss ways to continue to combat contraband. The Department is encouraged by the recent Bureau of Prisons pilot program exploring the practice of Micro Jamming cell phone signals that will essentially make a cell phone inoperable inside the secure perimeter of a facility.
Recently, Congressional leaders signed a letter of support regarding efforts to reduce contraband in penal facilities. Link to information regarding this letter can be found here:https://www.tn.gov/correction/news/2017/10/12/tdoc-applauds-letter-of-congressional-support.html.
Anyone with information about a threat to the safety and security of any TDOC facility or office is encouraged to call the department's 24-hour tip line: 1-844-TDC-FIND.