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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Cell Phone-Sniffing Dogs Cut Down on Crime

Once behind bars, most people would hope that criminal activity would cease, however that isn’t always the case. The State of New Jersey’s Commission of Investigation recently published a report showcasing the loopholes that gang-affiliated inmates exploit to continue illegal activity while in prison.

Technology has made this possible, as one of the ways they maintain contact with fellow gang members is via cell phones. This makes it possible for these criminals to order hits, continue running drug operations, and make financial transactions while incarcerated. These cell phones are usually smuggled in by visitors or corrupt guards (ever see Orange is the New Black?) and this makes it difficult to keep the prison safe. This also increases violence when convicts are released back into the general public which can lead to repeat offenders.

Since federal regulations do not allow cell phone signal jamming from the inside of a prison, officials get creative. In addition to installing equipment that detects cell phones and other electronic devices that would alert officials that a visitor has on them prior to entering the designated areas and having the prison officials wear their stab-proof vests OVER their uniforms, one New Jersey prison is using a more fluffy method, cell phone sniffing dogs. Police dogs aren’t just for drug-sniffing anymore!

These dogs are specially trained to smell the gases that cell phones emit and these good boys have detected and assisted in the confiscation of over 200 cell phones in just the last year. Cell phone detecting dogs are hand-picked from shelters or surrendered dogs that have a strong hunt drive, a lot of stamina and are air-sensing. These dogs can even find a cell phone in a jar of peanut butter and hidden in appliances, such as a microwave. These dogs are trained professionals and are not to be mistaken as a friendly cuddler on the streets. If you see police dogs, remember they are on the job, so do not rush up to pet them – no matter how cute they are!

Talk To An Expert

Attorney John W. Tumelty is a New Jersey certified criminal trial attorney who would be happy to discuss more about the constitutional rights of inmates in New Jersey. Don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty today. 

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The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship.

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