4th Avenue Jail shakedown uncovers drugs and weapons

PHOENIX - The 4th Avenue Jail in Phoenix was shut down to visitors Saturday as Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputies raided inmate's cells for illegal weapons and drugs.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said recently guards have discovered inmates making potentially deadly weapons out of metal rods used in braces for arms and legs.

"We got vicious people in this jail, they'll do anything...you have to be alert to the unrest and I sure don't need all these types of dangerous weapons to be available when they don't like something that's going on," said Sheriff Arpaio,

Arpaio said jail shakedowns are not uncommon and turn up all kinds of items, some more dangerous than others.

On Saturday, deputies confiscated prescription drugs, home-made alcohol, even dice made out of tissue, and a number of those dangerous shanks.

So far, nothing bad has happened with the shanks, but the sheriff said it's important to take action now before an inmate or guard gets hurt.

The 4th Avenue Jail medical staff no longer uses the kind of braces with those dangerous metal rods. The sheriff also said the inmates that had illegal contraband in their cells could be charged with a felony.

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