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Contraband Arrest at Hancock State Prison
On April 15, Hancock State Prison conducted roadside vehicle checks on all visitor vehicles. The vehicle checks were conducted by the Canine Unit, members of the CERT (Correctional Emergency Response Team) Team, and the Institutional Investigator. While conducting a check on a red Ford Fusion, the Canine Unit received a hit from a drug dog barking aggressively at the vehicle. The four occupants inside were advised to exit the vehicle. The vehicle was then searched, and marijuana stems and seeds were discovered lying on the rear passenger seat. After the vehicle search, a CERT Team member noticed what appeared to be additional contraband lying on the ground behind the group of visitors. The CERT Team member approached the area and discovered a ball of marijuana wrapped in clear plastic, weighing 2.0 grams. Visitor Morgan Merchant, rear passenger, admitted that the contraband belonged to her. Visitor Merchant was arrested by Hancock County Sheriff's Office. The other three visitors’ visitation was terminated for the day.