by: Ryan Kruger

ATLANTA — Prisons across the country are battling a growing epidemic of contraband cell phones.

While prison bars may keep inmates from the outside world physically, the phones make it as if they never left the streets. This week, authorities in Florida dismantled a meth and pill operation that was run out of a Georgia prison.

The alleged ringleader, 42-year-old Jeffery White, is currently incarcerated in the Washington State Prison in Washington County, Georgia, where he is serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault.

The Volusia County, Florida Sheriff’s Office said White’s crime ring distributed more than 200 pounds of crystal meth in the past year.

White, according to authorities, ran the entire operation from his prison cell with a smuggled cellphone.