Most of the instances found guards or other prison employees brought in the cellphones illegally for money though in a handful of instances female guards who had developed romantic relationships did so for that reason. The Los Angeles Times reported one prison employee was suspected of smuggling in a phone to a man who is suspected of fathering her child and quit when investigators wanted a DNA sample.
The state inspector general reported 54 instances where an employee was accused of smuggling in a cellphone. Of those, 20 resulted in an employee's termination or resignation. Thirteen times the charges were dropped and the rest remain under investigation, the newspaper reported.
Under California law, smuggling a cellphone to a prison inmate is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine though the report said shoddy oversight has made prosecuting violators next to impossible.