CMC inmate uses cell phone to set up robbery

July 17, 2012

An inmate at the California Men’s Colony (CMC) in San Luis Obispo County is facing additional prison time after he allegedly used a contraband cell phone to rob a man of a Rolex watch.

Jermaine Shermal Nelson, who is currently serving a 16-year prison term for robbery, used the cell phone to contact a man who had offered his Rolex for sale for $14,000 on Craigslist. [Californian]

His alleged accomplice, Lamar Diante Cox, met the watch’s owner at San Mateo’s Hillsdale Mall to have a jeweler verify the watch’s authenticity. The seller then took Cox to his car to close the deal.

Cox allegedly pulled a gun on the unnamed victim and robbed him of the advertised Rolex and another Rolex watch valued at $9,600 that he was wearing.

Nelson then arranged from prison for Cox to travel to Texas to meet up with a possible buyer in Houston. An action that led to the arrests of Cox and Nelson.

Cox and Nelson have pleaded not guilty to robbery and conspiracy charges. Their cases have been continued until Aug. 3.

California prison inmates are not permitted to have cell phones. Even so, cell phones have become abundant in prisons. In 2006, prison officials confiscated 261 cell phones inside California prisons. By 2010, the number of phones grabbed by prison workers had risen to 10,761.

During 2011, as many as six packages containing drugs, tobacco and cell phones had been found near the CMC West Facility wall in one night alone. Inmates allegedly set up the contraband drops using smuggled cell phones already inside the prison.

“People get dropped of on Highway 1, walk down the creek and throw the objects, generally wrapped in a sock, over the fence,” one longtime guard said. “It is the biggest breach of security I have ever seen at the facility.”

Not all of this contraband, however, comes from outsiders. Correctional officers said that about four cases of employee smuggling occur each year at CMC, usually involving prison contractors, people who come on the grounds to work on construction projects.


Also, it was the correctional guard union that fought putting cameras in many areas since it would also record guards doing things they weren’t supposed too. Cameras that could see the cell phones flying over the wall.


It was said to me very recently by a CMC corrections officer “you’d be surprised just how big a cell phone inmates can fit up their a$$es.” No socks involved.


No its not the big cell phone, and where it will fit to be taken in………………. It’s the 20 dollar bill it’s wrapped in when delivered . Readers ….. wake up and come to the real world… Nuff said1


I’m glad they caught the punk thieves but the victim really wasn’t too bright when he

1) advertised a $14K watch on craigslist

2) agreed to meet with a total stranger while carrying the $14K watch and

3) wore a second $9K watch on his wrist during the meeting. 9+14= 23 thousand bucks worth of product just waiting to be stolen…

The victim’s lucky to be alive. It could’ve had a much worse ending.


Isn’t it about time they started jamming cell phones at the CMC? Oh wait, the guards’ union would never allow that.


Just like the unions fought for checks for contraband being brought in by guards


the point of a union is to advocate for the members…. if you hired a lawyer and he started conceding points adverse to your interest you would probably be irritated. i should think that if you have any concept of privacy you would prefer your boss not stick his hand up your hind end every day you came in to work. working for the state is not an automatic abandonment of your rights under the constitution. and if checking the correctional officers would necessarily result in a safer environment, i’d be on board. how thorough a search would you recommend? open the lunch box? strip search? cavity search? not only does your solution need to have the desired effect, but it has to be enforceable. making a work environment like a prison even more hostile is probably not going have the effect you intend ‘yeah… uh… we’re trusting you with safeguarding the most dangerous and violent in our society, but we need to check your butt for illegal cell phones while the citizens for whom you are standing watch deride you for your paycheck’.


There is a difference between privacy and a boss making sure their employees are not bringings drugs or other illegal items to work.


So……………. Whats new at CMC. Same old stuff…. over and over again.

Ted Slanders

Let me fully understand this situation. The culprits get out of their car, follow the creek to a certain point, throw the contraband over the fence, and then leave. Then the inmate picks up the contraband the next day.

So, don’t we have the technology to place out around the fence line that detects movement, therefore alarms the staff inside, whereas, they move to catch the villian? Huh?

Here, let me save some time for a certain faction, IT’S THE DAMN UNIONS FAULT!

Anon E. Muss

…or they could just make the fence taller.

Ted Slanders


Uh, ever hear of a catapult?


Maybe they were runing their own fast and furious program using phones…. and looks like they used the same playbook the president used


This goes to remind us that we need to be very careful when we are advertising an item for sale. You just never known what sort of folks you might attract and while 98% of the time, the inquirers are honest folks, it only takes once to find yourself in a highly compromising and dangerous situation.

I’m reminded of the two families in the mid west that were approached after running an add to sell their valuable cars. The perps contacted the families, took the car for a spin, asked to see the title of the cars, killed the family, signed the title and stole the vehicles. Then there was the young woman who sold her wedding dress. A man called pretending to be the father of a soon to be bride. The young woman got raped by him in her own home. There are many such stories. Always be certain that your circumstances when meeting with strangers under these condition’s are safe. I would never allow a stranger in my home without having back up around like a big guy friend with a gun under his waste band!


I hope I’m right about deducing sarcasm where the low salaries are concern.


This was intended to be attached to kayahnuts post.


Let’s also not forgot about correctional officers who smuggle contraband to prisoners for a price, but this is kept quiet by the union and handled in a special way, by alloweing the guilty to quietly retire with no consequences. The officers are just trying to make a little extra since they are paid such low salaries…..