Texas Considers Cell Phone Jamming
(03/16/2011)

BEAUMONT, Texas.  Texas prison authorities say they are considering jamming cell phones after an inmate used a contraband cell phone to escape from prison.

Investigators said David Puckett, who is serving 30 years for aggravated assault, used a smuggled cell phone to escape from the maximum-security Stiles Unit in Beaumont last week. Puckett was captured less than a week later as he got off a bus in Omaha, Neb.

An affidavit filed after he was caught states Puckett called Mattice Mayo of Omaha, who was supposed to pick him up at the bus station. Mayo is believed to have wired Puckett money for a bus ticket and is charged with hindering apprehension, authorities said. They said Puckett made 297 calls to her phone in September and November.

Authorities suspect Puckett met Mayo on a social networking website that he probably accessed with the contraband cell phone. He had two Facebook accounts that he may have maintained from prison.

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Corrections Director Brad Livingston ordered a test of new technology to block cell phone signals, a first in Texas.

Two years ago, a death row inmate called a state senator on a smuggled cell phone. Officials decided against pursuing phone jamming measures at the time because it is against federal law.

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