TDCJ's Intercept Of Drug-Filled Toolbox Ruins Inmates' Day

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

When you think about it, anytime you try to get a toolbox delivered to a prison, you're going to raise some suspicion. You'd have to figure the authorities aren't just going to carry it down to Cellblock D and say "Here you go, here's the file, screwdriver and chisel you ordered!"

So chances are, that package is going to be inspected. And x-rayed. And when one such toolbox was examined at the Ellis Unit near Huntsville last week, officials discovered a veritable Sam's Club of items designed to make a prison stretch go easier.

Packed away in the box was five ounces of pot, some chewing tobacco, five grams of meth, 139 Ecstasy pills, two bags of Jolly Ranchers and some do-rags, TDCJ spokeswoman Michelle Lyons tells Hair Balls.

As Slim Pickens said as he examined the survival kit on a Russian-bound nuclear bomber in Dr. Strangelove, "Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."

But...Jolly Ranchers?

Not as unusual as you might think, Lyons says. One Death Row inmate requested green Jolly Ranchers for his last meal.

Ecstasy? Are they having raves in prison? "That is an odd place for Ecstasy," she says. Hey, who are we to judge?

The package, discovered last Thursday but first reported (as far as we can tell) by the Houston Chronicle today was addressed simply to the unit's maintenance shop. Which is quite the party place, it sounds like.

An investigation is ongoing.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.