The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

January 3, 2013

Trio charged with tossing contraband into Conneaut prison

CONNEAUT — Three people face multiple charges after they reportedly tossed cellular telephones and tobacco products over the fence and onto the grounds of the Lake Erie Correctional Institution on Saturday night, authorities said.

Arrested were Taneisha Head, 26, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Miyako Austin, 32, of Cleveland; and Oplee Robinson, 29, of Cleveland, according to Conneaut Municipal Court records. Each has been charged with illegal conveyance of prohibited material onto the grounds of a detention facility; possession of criminal tools; obstruction of official business and two counts of trespassing, a court spokeswoman said. The charges are first degree misdemeanors, which carry a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Robinson also faces traffic charges, according to court records.

The three will have pre-trial hearings Monday afternoon in Conneaut Municipal Court. Bond was set at $10,000 cash/surety for Head, $25,000 for Austin and $30,000 (including traffic charges) for Robinson. All were in jail Wednesday in lieu of bond and will be represented by a public defender at their Tuesday afternoon pre-trial hearings, the court spokeswoman said.

City police and prison security have been working a long time to catch people who have been throwing contraband into the prison, which has been a persistent problem, said Conneaut Police Chief Charles Burlingham.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m., officers learned of suspicious behavior outside the north perimeter of the prison fence, Burlingham said. Police intercepted a vehicle traveling north on Thompson Road. The vehicle was found in the driveway of a property and inside were the three defendants, along with packaging for cellular phones and tobacco-related items, Burlingham said.

Cellular phones were apparently recovered inside the prison, and serial numbers on the devices matched the packaging discovered in the vehicle, Burlingham said.

For the past several months, city police and prison officials have teamed to stem the flow of contraband thrown over the fence and into the prison, Burlingham said.

“It happens pretty regularly,” he said. “Sometimes it’s non-stop with suspicious vehicle calls.”

Officers regularly patrol property adjacent to the prison and sometimes set up stakeouts to catch perpetrators, Burlingham said.

Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth