ADOC Conducts Raid at Easterling Correctional Facility to Eliminate Illegal Contraband
The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) Tuesday announced it has completed a joint law enforcement Operation Restore Order raid to locate and eliminate illegal contraband at Easterling Correctional Facility (Easterling) in Clio. Following careful and strategic planning to ensure operational safety and success, ADOC officials launched the Restore Order mass search at 4:00 a.m. CST with support from more than 200 officials from cooperating county and state law enforcement agencies.
Arnaldo Mercado, chief of ADOC’s Law Enforcement Services Division (LESD), led the planning and execution of the operation today at Easterling, a medium-security prison that houses around 1,200 inmates. LESD agents, correctional K-9 drug units, and Correctional Emergency Response Teams (CERT) took part in the operation. Cooperating agencies including the Pardons and Paroles Bureau, Department of Natural Resources, Game Warden Division, and Russell and Coffee County Sheriff’s Department provided tremendous resources in support of this strategic endeavor.
“Operation Restore Order is a critical initiative designed to create safer living and working conditions across Alabama’s correctional system,” said ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn. “The presence of Illegal contraband including drugs, which undoubtedly is perpetuated by the presence of illegal cell phones, is a very real threat we must continue to address. Additionally, our aging and severely dilapidated facilities are constructed of increasingly breakable materials that ill-intentioned inmates can obtain and fashion into dangerous weapons. The presence of illegal contraband puts everyone at risk, and action – including Operation Restore Order raids – must regularly be taken to eliminate it. We remain committed to doing everything in our power to root out the sources of contraband entry into our facilities, and will punish those who promote its presence to the full extent of the law.”
“The benefit of mass searches, such as the one successfully conducted today at Easterling, is that they effectively ‘reset’ a facility and have an immediate positive impact on safety and security. I am proud of our staff for their hard work and careful planning, and am grateful to all participating agencies who contributed to a successful operation today at Easterling,” added Dunn.
In 2019, ADOC’s Restore Operation raids led to the seizure of myriad illegal contraband including cell phones, drugs, and makeshift weapons. Other unannounced institutional searches further decreased the presence of contraband.
Under Dunn’s directive, the ADOC is developing new plans to conduct other major Restore Order operations in addition to continuing smaller, unannounced institutional searches. These searches will help the Department develop intelligence-based programs to identify contraband trends and provide necessary intelligence to identify corruption indicators. One of the ADOC’s primary, ongoing directives is to focus on increasing safety standards for both staff and inmates by minimizing the presence of contraband.
The public should contact ADOC’s Law Enforcement Service Division at 1-866-293-7799 with information that may lead to the arrest of anyone attempting to introduce illegal contraband into state prisons. The public may also report suspicious activity by going to the ADOC Website at http://www.doc.alabama.gov/investigationrequest.