HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- Word of a possible weapon in the Henrico Jail West Wednesday afternoon made it all the way to the top of the chain of command in minutes.
Sheriff Mike Wade says he called in his commanders, the Sheriff's Office Response Team (SORT) and Henrico Police for back-up before locking down Dayroom 227 and initiating a search of the inmates.
Dramatic jail surveillance video shows the SORT team along with several SWAT team members shaking down inmates in search of a weapon
"An inmate approached a deputy today and advised that he overheard a conversation that a gun was in one of our day rooms,” said Wade. He said he and his staff would take no chances immediately started working on it.
"We developed a plan. Since the inmates normally have meal time between 4 and 5, we took them to the hallway and they were met by the SORT team,” he said.
A few minutes into the thorough search, a jailhouse tattoo gun was found on an inmate and charges are now pending.
This is the second time in a month the sheriff has launched members of the special team. On April 8, a small group from the SORT team raided a day room and the individual cell of two inmates who were plotting an escape. That information came from a lawyer who had recently met with his client in the jail.
Wade said a swift response, mixed with an element of surprise, is why both incidents were fruitful and more importantly, peaceful.
"We always got to be careful to make sure the safety of our jail and employees is maintained," he said.
The inmates from Dayroom 227 were moved to another dayroom. Wade says that allowed time for a methodical search. And while 227 is vacant he says they'll take a few days to paint it.
This is the only second search of its kind since Sheriff Mike Wade took office in 1999.