Charles Manson follower arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle cell phone to cult leader in Calif. prison, authorities say

Serial killer Charles Manson, April 4, 2012.
AP Photos/California Department of Corrections
Photo of imprisoned serial killer Charles Manson at age 77. He's currently 78.
AP Photos/California Department of Corrections

(CBS/AP) CORCORAN, Calif. - Authorities said a Charles Manson follower was arrested Sunday for trying to smuggle a cell phone inside a California prison where the notorious cult leader was jailed.

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Craig Hammond, 63, was arrested 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.

Authorities said 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. The phone never got to the 78-year-old Manson, who is serving a life sentence for orchestrating a series of gruesome murders more than 40 years ago.

However, the notorious mass murderer was caught with a smuggled cell phone twice in the past four years. In 2009, Manson was found with a phone and he was calling and texting people in California, Florida, New Jersey and British Columbia. He was found with another phone in 2011.

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 him in prison, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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