Martin Shkreli allegedly used contraband cell phone to conduct business in jail

A former corrections officer says contraband phones, like the one “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli is reportedly using to still run his company from prison, are a serious security risk.

Captain Robert Johnson, who served 16 years at Lee Correctional Institute in Bishopville, South Carolina, told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney that he almost died because of a contraband cell phone.

“We were hurting gangs severely. So one of them decided they’d had enough. They put a $6,000 contract on my life,” he said on Thursday.

Johnson was shot six times in the chest and stomach, point blank with a .38, during a hit orchestrated and paid for by a contraband cell phone.

“I’m on a mission to stop it,” Johnson said on “Varney & Co.

Since he left the force, Captain Johnson has worked with prisons throughout the country to introduce new technology that can detect cell phones or prevent them from functioning within the prison system.

“They’re running all kind of scams. People think they’re getting a call from a telemarketer at night. That’s an inmate calling. They’re calling in hits.”


Johnson says most illegal cell phones aren’t being used by high-profile criminals like Shkreli to run their business empires, they’re being used to coordinate gang activity, move illegal drugs, and in some cases plan violent hits on guards.