Another TN guard accused of smuggling phones to prisoners - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Another TN guard accused of smuggling phones to prisoners

Cpl. Lonnie B. Rogers Cpl. Lonnie B. Rogers
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Another Tennessee correctional officer is under arrest, charged with bringing a large number of forbidden cell phones into prisons, and another woman says she's been harassed over the phone by a prisoner.

Authorities say Cpl. Lonnie Rodgers, a correctional officer at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary, is accused of smuggling 40 cell phones, along with phone chargers, drugs and tobacco.

Rodgers is the latest state employee charged with sneaking in phones. Previous stories by the Channel 4 I-Team uncovered more than 100 Tennessee inmates were using contraband phones to document their parties and drug use on social media.

And those photographs aren't the only indication it's an ongoing problem. One Tennessee inmate named Justin posted a profile on a dating website, the Channel 4 I-Team has found. His profile picture for the site was clearly taken inside his cell from a cell phone.

Ladies, he's single, but not available yet.

Last week, the Channel 4 I-Team reported that a Middle Tennessee family had received threatening and sexually harassing texts from prison inmates who've obtained cell phones while behind bars.

Now, another woman has come forward, saying she, too, is being harassed by cell phone. This time, it's by the man who allegedly knocked out her front teeth.

Norma Pendleton is divorcing her husband and got an order of protection after he was indicted and charged with busting in her door and hitting her so hard that her front teeth were knocked loose.

The assault charge sent him to back to Riverbend Prison, where he was serving time for murder.

So, imagine her surprise when an unknown cell phone number showed up on her phone and she says her husband was on the other line, saying, "How much is it going to take to drop these charges?"

Pendleton wants the state to now reinstate the oversight committee for the Department of Correction, saying lawmakers and agency officials don't understand how innocent people are suffering from devices that are bringing so much fun and freedom to criminals.

"People are scared. And, really, they haven't been in this predicament. They haven't been hit, or beat or teeth loosened out of their mouth," Pendleton said.

Pendleton said she has repeatedly called Riverbend's warden and assistant warden to report the calls she says she's received but has heard nothing back.

The Channel 4 I-Team wanted to ask the state about the cases of harassment we've learned about, but they've denied our request for an interview.

In a statement released Thursday regarding the contraband found in the west Tennessee prison, Commissioner Derrick Schofield said:

"Whether it is one cell phone or 40, and whether it is a visitor or an employee, our agency will not tolerate the introduction of contraband into our prisons."

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • ‘Camp Out for a Cause’ helping feed local needy families

    ‘Camp Out for a Cause’ helping feed local needy families

    Monday, November 20 2017 5:26 AM EST2017-11-20 10:26:35 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)
    Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away and one DJ at KIX-96 is gearing up for his annual Campout for a Cause benefiting Abraham’s Tent food pantry. Radio DJ Chad Austin is pitching his tent in front of Ashley Homestore located at 3625 Gerstner Memorial Blvd in Lake Charles starting today, November 20 lasting until noon Wednesday, November 22. Those who would like to donate can stop by day and night to drop off canned and dry goods along frozen meats items such as turkeys, ha...More >>
    Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away and one DJ at KIX-96 is gearing up for his annual Campout for a Cause benefiting Abraham’s Tent food pantry. Radio DJ Chad Austin is pitching his tent in front of Ashley Homestore located at 3625 Gerstner Memorial Blvd in Lake Charles starting today, November 20 lasting until noon Wednesday, November 22. Those who would like to donate can stop by day and night to drop off canned and dry goods along frozen meats items such as turkeys, ha...More >>
  • Food for Seniors program feeds hundreds

    Food for Seniors program feeds hundreds

    Sunday, November 19 2017 10:16 PM EST2017-11-20 03:16:08 GMT

    Eliminating hunger for thousands of our senior citizens and keeping their minds at ease-- that's the mission of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury's Food for Seniors service. Every third Friday of the month, senior residents of Calcasieu parish can sign up to receive a box of food, but it's a lot more than that. “A lot of people if they didn't have this they couldn't make it and I know some of them wouldn't have anything to eat,” said Betty Landry a recipient of the Food ...

    More >>

    Eliminating hunger for thousands of our senior citizens and keeping their minds at ease-- that's the mission of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury's Food for Seniors service. Every third Friday of the month, senior residents of Calcasieu parish can sign up to receive a box of food, but it's a lot more than that. “A lot of people if they didn't have this they couldn't make it and I know some of them wouldn't have anything to eat,” said Betty Landry a recipient of the Food ...

    More >>
  • Multiple agencies respond to Vinton structure fire Sunday

    Multiple agencies respond to Vinton structure fire Sunday

    Sunday, November 19 2017 7:35 PM EST2017-11-20 00:35:27 GMT
    Vinton house fire (Source: KPLC)Vinton house fire (Source: KPLC)

    Multiple agencies worked to knock out a structure fire in Vinton Sunday. Around 3:30 p.m., the Vinton Fire Department responded to a call on Center Street. Fire was showing through the roof of the burning house in two locations when firefighters arrived, said Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Merchant.

    More >>

    Multiple agencies worked to knock out a structure fire in Vinton Sunday. Around 3:30 p.m., the Vinton Fire Department responded to a call on Center Street. Fire was showing through the roof of the burning house in two locations when firefighters arrived, said Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Merchant.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly