Manson follower arrested trying to smuggle phone into prison

Serial killer Charles Manson, April 4, 2012. AP Photos/California Department of Corrections

CORCORAN, Calif. A follower of Charles Manson has been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle a cell phone inside a California prison where the mass murderer is housed, authorities said Tuesday.

Craig Carlisle Hammond, 63, was arrested Sunday for investigation of conspiracy, possession of an illegal communication device and attempting to bring a cell phone into a prison, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections.

He was taken to jail and was released after posting bail. He is scheduled to be in court next month.

Hammond had a wrist watch cell phone that was found by a correctional officer at Corcoran State Prison in an area where the device is prohibited, authorities said. The phone never got into Manson's hands.

However, the notorious cult leader who is serving a life sentence for orchestrating a series of gruesome murders more than 40 years ago has been caught with a smuggled cell phone twice in the past four years.

In 2009, Manson was found with a phone and he had been calling and texting people in California, Florida, New Jersey and British Columbia. Two years ago, he also was found with a phone.

Recent legislation in California makes it a misdemeanor to smuggle a cell phone into a prison, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.

Hammond goes by the name Gray Wolf that was given to him by Manson and regularly visits the 78-year-old, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now