Imprisoned TN inmates text threats to family - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Imprisoned TN inmates text threats to family

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A Centerville family says it has received sexually explicit and threatening text messages from inmates who are behind bars.

It all comes three months after the Channel 4 I-Team exposed more than 100 Tennessee inmates using smuggled cell phones to post pictures to Facebook of themselves using drugs, hoarding food and even setting a shirt on fire.

The inmates also used the contraband cell phones to communicate with each other and friends and family through Facebook.

Lisa Thompson said her cousin, Eddie Phillips Jr., also had a Facebook page and started calling and texting her while in Northwest Correctional Complex.

"[Eddie] said that he could get anything he wanted," Thompson said.

Thompson showed the Channel 4 I-Team the texts from Phillips that read, "Glad we can text" and "Do you have any friends I can text?"

Then, Thompson started getting texts asking if she had friends who would send sexy pictures, then a text asking her to send a sexy picture of herself.

Thompson pointed out how disgusting that was that her cousin was asking for the pictures, but the person texting said he was, in fact, her cousin's cell mate.

"And that did it, and I said, 'Do not text me again,'" Thompson said.

But more texts kept coming, reading, "I want to see you naked," and, "I will send one of me naked." Other texts were too explicit to share on television.

"It was terrible. I felt harassed," Thompson said.

She texted and told the inmate to stop sexually harassing her and then told the warden at the prison and the Tennessee Department of Correction.

"Nothing has been done about it," Thompson said.

Then, Thompson said she got a call from someone claiming to be inmate, saying that her family needed to put money on a prepaid card.

The caller said unless the money was put on the card, Thompson's brother, who is also in a Tennessee prison, would be killed by gangster disciples.

She texted back, begging for the inmate not to hurt her brother and promising to send $25.

The inmate later responded, texting, "What did your mom say? I need that Green Dot MoneyPak card today."

Thompson then texted back and told the inmate to stop threatening her.

The Channel 4 I-Team brought all of the texts to the state Department of Correction, requesting an interview with the commissioner.

A spokeswoman for the department said the commissioner would not be answering our questions but did confirm 10 days after we shared the information that inmate in question - Dennis Boykin - was found with a cell phone and admitted to texting Thompson.

Boykin, who is in the same unit as Thompson's cousin Eddie Phillips, denied sending threatening texts.

Phillips was caught with a phone in January, but he then somehow got his hands on a new one, sending a text to Thompson that reads, "Got caught with a phone."

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