Authorities say an Atlanta police officer is being crediting with breaking up a smuggling attempt into the federal prison in southeast Atlanta on Tuesday.
According to Atlanta police, the officer was on routine patrol on New Town Circle at around 12:30 a.m. when he noticed a white Oldsmobile Alero parked next to a fence near the work camp area of the prison.
They say the officer saw four men wearing gray sweat pants and shirts, black ski masks and black gloves who appeared to be smuggling items into the prison under the fence. When the officer shined his spotlight on the vehicle, the men bolted.
Investigators say three men scaled the fence onto prison property and the fourth man fled in the Alero. The vehicle was found abandoned on a short distance away on New Town Circle. The driver fled on foot and could not be found.
Police recovered the vehicle, along with 24 cell phones, four 30-packs of light beer, three cases of whiskey, many bags of protein powder and two handguns loaded with hollow point ammunition.
There was no word on what happened to the three suspects who climbed back onto the prison property.
A former inmate, who asked not to be identified, said that he once served time in what is called "The Camp," the minimum security section of the federal penitentiary. He said that whiskey was the item of choice to smuggle in.
A spokesperson from the prison said that once officials were notified of the incident at 12:30 a.m., the facility was put on lockdown and all inmates were accounted for.
The case is being investigated by the FBI, along with the Bureau of Prisons investigators.