McCrory: Tougher punishment for prison cell phones

The Associated Press

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RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory is joining North Carolina's district attorneys in seeking tougher penalties for those caught smuggling cell phones into prisons.

McCrory issued a statement Monday asking lawmakers to approve a bill making it a felony rather than a misdemeanor to provide an inmate with a cell phone. McCrory said he also supports stiffening penalties for retaliation attacks against the family members of state officials.

The proposals come after the father of a Wake County prosecutor was kidnapped last month and held for five days in an Atlanta apartment before being rescued by the FBI. Federal authorities say it was a plot directed by a state prison inmate who used a smuggled cell phone to communicate with co-conspirators on the outside. Nine people have been indicted in the case.

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