Inmate’s smuggled-in cell phone could extend prison term
PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) — A prison inmate in Virginia was set to be released after serving a three-year sentence. But then he was charged with possessing a smuggled-in cell phone.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Kevin Lavon Smith as a sentencing hearing on Monday that could keep him in jail for many more months to come.
Prosecutors are asking for an additional year in prison. His lawyer says he deserves time served. Federal sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of six months to 12 months.
A female visitor gave Smith a small cell phone during a visit to the Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg in June. He was charged in November, the day before his scheduled release.
Smith’s lawyer, Laura Koenig, has argued that he already spent five months in solitary confinement. She said Smith owed a debt to prisoners who persuaded him to smuggle in the phone.
Smith was serving time for abusing drugs while on supervised release. He was previously sentenced for conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Smith’s lawyer said he was homeless and needed drug money.