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ATLANTA -- An apparent plan to smuggle contraband cellphones, alcohol and even handguns into the Atlanta Penitentiary was thwarted early Tuesday when an alert Atlanta police officer spotted four men outside the federal prison who appeared to be "up to no good."
The officer was patrolling the area of New Town Circle in southeast Atlanta around 12:30 a.m. when he noticed a white Oldsmobile Alero parked near the fence surrounding the U.S. Penitentiary, Atlanta police Sgt. Greg Lyon said Tuesday afternoon.
"He shined a spotlight on the vehicle," Lyon said. "When he did so, he saw four individuals --- all dressed in gray sweatpants, black hoodies and black gloves --- that appeared to be up to no good."
Three of the masked men ran out of the car and scaled the fence leading into the prison, Lyon said. But the fourth drove the car a short distance before running into nearby woods, according to police.
That's when officers took inventory of the car's stash, which investigators believe the four planned to smuggle into the prison. The contents included 24 cellphones, four 30-packs of Bud Light beer, three cases of whiskey, multiple bags of protein powder and two loaded handguns, police said.
None of the four suspects was taken into custody Tuesday. Investigators were processing the car for additional information, Lyon said.
The incident is being investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Atlanta police said.