ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — On the same day city officials held public hearings on recent prisoner escapes, comes word of another embarrassing breach of security at the St. Louis Justice Center.

Vernon Collins, who escaped the city’s Justice Center in April, has once again apparently figured out a way to beat the system, while behind bars. Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce today announced that Collins has been charged with two counts of possessing prohibited items — in this case, he somehow managed to figure out a way to smuggle in a pair of cell phones, which were discovered during a routine check of his cell Saturday.

According to corrections officers, they noticed Collins trying to conceal something beneath his bed sheets when they asked that he stand up to be handcuffed before the inspection. Searching the bed, officers found the phones. When they tossed the rest of Collins’ cell, they also found cigarette lighters, various pills and some wires.

No word yet as to how Collins got the items inside.

Collins is currently confined at the justice center on charges of Escape from Confinement and Damage to jail property, for an escape which occurred on April 22, 2011. Authorities say Collins made his escape by crawling through an access panel in the ceiling, breaking a window and scaling down the building using bed sheets.

Collins had originally been jailed for Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer in the First Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault in the First Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Disarming a Police Officer, and Resisting Arrest.

(Copyright KMOX)


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