Former SC prison guard suing cell phone companies

Published: Feb. 19, 2014 at 1:48 PM EST
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Former Lee Correctional Institution officer Robert Johnson
Former Lee Correctional Institution officer Robert Johnson

CHARLESTON, SC (AP) - A former South Carolina prison guard wounded in a hit authorities say was orchestrated by inmates using smuggled cell phones is suing mobile phone service providers.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports Robert Johnson is suing 20 cell phone companies and cellular tower owners. The lawsuit accuses the companies of being able to block inmate calls at Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville but failing to do so.

Johnson was a Corrections Department veteran who oversaw efforts to keep contraband out of Lee. He was shot six times at his Sumter home in 2010, requiring months of rehabilitation and surgeries. He retired in 2011.

Authorities say the hit was organized by inmates using smuggled cell phones. More than 3,000 contraband cell phones were confiscated from South Carolina prisons last year.

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