Idaho's new prison contraband law has yielded its first arrest. Inmate Joshua Combs was charged with having of a cell phone and chewing tobacco at the North Idaho Correctional Institution in Cottonwood.
The new law was approved this year during the legislative session. It makes it a felony if a prisoner is caught bringing tobacco or phones into a jail. The law also means a prisoner could get an additional five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Before this year, the crime was a misdemeanor.
The Idaho Department of Correction says tobacco sales in prison fuels gang activity and makes gangs more powerful. Cell phones can allow inmates to direct criminal activity from jail or help plan an escape.