Weird Ways People Smuggle Things Into Prison

Every day, drugs and other contraband makes its way into jails around the world. Because of tightening security and advanced screening methods, inmates have become more creative in finding ways to smuggle in drugs, cell phones, and weapons past the prison guards. How people smuggle stuff into prison is often risky, often ingenious, and often entertaining. 

Their schemes are sometimes gross and almost always dangerous - but as the evidence proves, desperate inmates will do just about anything to find ways to smuggle things into prison. 

Photo: Columbia Pictures

  • Tucking Coke in Foreskin

    Tucking Coke in Foreskin
    Photo: Louisville Metro Corrections

    An incoming Kentucky prisoner discovered a new use for foreskin: a hiding place for cocaine

    After being arrested on a drug charge, Antoine Banks was searched before he entered Louisville Metro Corrections. Prison officers patted him down and discovered a small bag of cocaine in his boxers. This led to a strip search where the officers found an even smaller bag lodged in the foreskin of his penis. 

    Banks was then charged with trafficking a controlled substance. 

  • Grenade in a Vagina

    Grenade in a Vagina
    Photo: By Dasadiil / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    After a grenade was detonated in a Colombian jail - killing five inmates and injuring 20 others - officials were shocked to learn how the explosive made its way into the prison. 

    The grenade was smuggled in by a woman who hid the explosive in her vagina. Since guards at the prison were not allowed to inspect the genitals of female visitors, the smuggler was able to bring the weapon inside without issue. She then removed it, passed it along to her inmate contact, and was able to leave without being caught. 

  • Melting Drugs Into Coloring Books

    Melting Drugs Into Coloring Books
    Photo: Cape May County Sheriff's Office

    Few things are as innocent as the scribbles of a child in a coloring book. Unless, of course, those scribbles are made with drug-laced paint.

    In 2011, a trio of inmates in a New Jersey jail were charged with using their loved ones to smuggle Soboxone, a heroin addiction treatment which is considered a controlled substance, into prison using a very creative method. The Soboxone was melted into a paste, and then painted onto the pages of a children's coloring book. 

    The drug coated pages all had the inscription: "To Daddy."

  • Father and Son French Kiss

    Father and Son French Kiss
    Photo: Federal Bureau of Prisons

    When Donald Denney couldn't find a woman with a clean record to smuggle heroin into his son's prison, he saw no other choice: he'd have to hide the drugs in his anus and then discretely give it to his son via a French kiss.

    This intricate plan was passed along from Denney to his incarcerated son, Donald Jr., over a police-monitored prison telephone. The scheme would involve Denney entering a Colorado federal prison, removing the golf ball sized baggie of heroin from his anus, putting it into his mouth, and then transferring the drugs to his son through a casual open mouth kiss.

    When the elder Denney arrived at the prison, the FBI agents were waiting. During a strip search, the FBI agents discovered "a plastic wrapper protruding from Denney's anus." Denney was charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

  • Methadone-Soaked Underwear

    Methadone-Soaked Underwear
    Photo: Jessamine County Sheriff's Office

    After an inmate died from a methadone overdose at the Jessamine County Detention Center in Kentucky, authorities discovered the unique way his cellmate, Michael Jones, smuggled in the drugs despite a strip search. 

    Jones was able to sneak in the liquid methadone - a colorless, odorless substance - by soaking it into his underwear. He then tore his underwear into pieces and gave it to his cellmates. 

  • Strippers Dressed as Paralegals

    In 2011, the Miami New Times reported that a Miami maximum security prison was "overrun" with visiting paralegals that were giving lap dances instead of legal advice. 

    The legal teams for wealthy South American drug kingpins discovered a loophole allowing them to name just about anyone as a paralegal. They exploited the oversight by sending strippers posing as paralegals to the federal detention center

    In addition to putting on strip shows, the "paralegals" were caught in sex acts with inmates and were allegedly smuggling money in as well. The worst part: one private investigator familiar with the matter claimed that guards and prison officials were well aware of the issue. "Everyone knows about it," he said at the time.