WSVN — Broward County and federal authorities are investigating a serious breach of security at a major South Florida jail. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case with the exclusive.

Like any facility that houses accused or convicted criminals, security is a major concern at Broward’s Main Jail. 7News has learned security was breached recently when four cell phones were smuggled inside.

Sheriff Scott Israel: “We have opened up a criminal investigation. We’re doing that criminal investigation in conjunction with some of our federal partners.”

At the same time the phones were found by deputies, a hole was discovered in the thick plastic window of one of the cells.

Carmel Cafiero: “The phones were discovered on the eighth floor of the jail. That’s where inmates accused of serious crimes, like murder and sexual abuse, are housed. But on any floor of a jail a cell phone is a major risk for people both inside and outside.”

Inmates around the country have used cell phones to arrange murders outside the prison and smuggle contraband inside.

Carmel Cafiero: “I’m wondering if there was any indication that these phones were used for any of those illicit purposes.”

Lt. Col. Keith Kneely: “Right now there’s a criminal investigation that is ongoing, and we have nothing to indicate what those phones were being utilized for, but that’s what we’re trying to root out in the investigation.”

At first there was some thought the phones had been brought into a cell through a hole in one of the windows. But that’s been discounted for now because the hole was too small.

Sheriff Scott Israel: “A human element brought those cell phones into the facility, and we want to find out who that certain element was and why they did that.”

While the cell phone investigation continues, so too does work on the 30-year-old building. Plans include replacing all 1,000 windows.

Carmel Cafiero 7News.

Miami-Dade: 305-627-CLUE
Broward: 954-921-CLUE
You can also send a tweet to @carmelonthecase.

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