Group tried to throw drugs, cellphones into prison

Courtesy: Lee County Sheriff's Ofiice

Lee County (WACH) -- Lee County Sheriff's deputies have arrested four people they say tried to throw contraband into the Lee Correctional Institute Thursday morning.

Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simon tells WACH Fox the owner of City Nursery contacted law enforcement after seeing a suspicious car on his property.

Simon says the owner of the business followed a white Buick until law enforcement arrived. Authorities stopped the car on US 527.

Officers say they stopped the vehicle, removed the suspects and discovered three backpacks filled with cell phones, tobacco, drugs, and other banned prison items.

Deputies arrested four suspects dressed in camouflage: Vance Fowler of Elgin, Cleveland Bellinger and Bunnie Hawkins, both from North Charleston, and Willie Miles.

Sheriff Simon says this is an "occurring problem in Lee County that happens at least once or twice a week". He adds the different color tape on items is how inmates tell what the contraband is and to whom or where it should be delivered.

Deputies believe the items the found Thursday would have been worth around $6,500 inside of a prison.

Sheriff Simon says they have recently stopped many people attempting to deliver contraband and with the arrests on Thursday "they've put a dent into the operation".