Curtis Drakes, 33, a former prison guard at the Mize Street Detention Facility has pleaded guilty to conspiring to introduce contraband into a correctional facility.

According to court records, Drakes smuggled cell phones into the Mize Street Detention Facility for cash payments from inmates at the facility.  This conduct allegedly spanned the time period of April 15 to May 16, 2013.  Drakes has pleaded guilty and awaits a May 8, 2014 sentencing in federal court.  He faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in federal prison.

The investigation leading up to Drakes’ arrest was conducted in joint by the Pelham Police Department and the U.S. Marshal Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Leah E. McEwen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In recent years law enforcement and prison administrators have made cell phone detection and smuggling a stronger investigation focal point.  This is in large part due to the security concerns presented by prisoners having access to unmonitored channels of communication.  Some prisoners have been said to orchestrate criminal activities even from inside a prison.  Authorities have become so concerned with this type of conduct that several states have passed legislation making it a felony to merely possess a cell phone within a correctional facility.

To learn more about this developing case, visit

About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

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