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Weapons, meth among items seized from SJ County jail inmates
crime tape

Correctional officers at the San Joaquin County Jail have made a number of discoveries ranging from inmate-made weapons to hard drugs in the possession of inmates within the secure facility. 

Last week the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office announced the results of a search of the housing unit at the Honor Farm at the jail facility in French Camp that resulted in a number of discoveries including a syringe with 15 cc’s of liquid methamphetamine, foil, metal, an altered razor, two lighters, a pair of gloves, and three growing marijuana seeds in addition to other items that can either be fashioned into weapons or used for illicit substances. 

The following day the agency announced that in a search of a housing unit inside of the jail facility two homemade jail weapons were discovered the belongings of two separate inmates that are now facing additional felony charges of being prisoners in possession of a weapon and the prison manufacture of an illegal instrument. 

Inmates Nicholas Smith and Atanasio Avila remain in custody and will answer to the new charges in San Joaquin County Superior Court this week. 

The same day that authorities announced the discovery of the inmate-manufactured weapons, another inmate – William Davidson – returned to the San Joaquin County Jail after being released on a day pass and was caught trying to bring in a host of contraband including 24.7 grams of tobacco, 3.8 grams of methamphetamine, 4 grams of THC and two lighters. According to the Sheriff’s Office, inmates returning from outside visits typically undergo a strip search and a body scanning procedure where most contraband is found. 

Davidson, who was being held without bail for a number of charges related to driving under the influence, will appear in the Manteca branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court today at 1:25 p.m. to answer to the new felony charge of bringing a controlled substance into a prison. 

Under new San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow the agency has made it a point to advertise contraband when discovered by inmates or by those visiting them at the jail facility – highlighting a number of cases in recent months of people attempting to bring drugs or other contraband into visiting rooms only for officers to search their vehicles and discover even larger quantities of the illicit substances. In those cases, those who started their day as visitors ended up booked into custody on the new charges. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.