SC Inmate Got Outside Through Prison Ceiling

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By Alicia Barnes

RIDGELAND, S.C. (AP) _ South Carolina prison officials say an inmate sneaked outside through a ceiling tile and tried to pick up contraband thrown over the fence at a state prison in Jasper County.

Authorities say guards caught the inmate Monday night, and that prompted a disturbance at the Ridgeland Correctional Institution involving around 120 prisoners. A special team of guards launched tear gas into the dorm to end the situation.

State prisons spokesman Clark Newsom told The Island Packet of Hilton Head that the package thrown over the fence had cellphones and cigarettes.

Investigators are trying to figure out if anyone helped the inmate get out through the ceiling. Prisoners can be in a common area during that time, but aren't allowed outside.

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