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Charles Manson Caught With Cell Phone in Prison

Charles Manson, 1986

**FILE** Charles Manson was denied parole Wednesday May 23, 2007, the 11th time since 1978 that the cult leader was ordered to continue serving life sentences for a murderous rampage in 1969. (AP-Photo) (AP)

Notorious cult leader Charles Manson was caught with a cell phone in his jail cell.

Manson was caught with an LG flip phone under his mattress and had used it several times before officers discovered it, Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections told Fox 8 News.

Manson made calls and sent text messages to people in California, New Jersey, Florida and British Columbia but it wasn't known if the calls were crime-related, Thornton said.

The now 76-year-old orchestrated one of the most notorious killing sprees in U.S. history. Actress Sharon Tate was among the seven victims in 1969.

Prison officials added 30 days to Manson's sentence after the cell phone was discovered and he will be counseled and reprimanded, Thornton says.

Manson has been locked up for more than three decades and will likely die behind bars. He is currently housed at Corcoran State Prison.

In 2009, nearly 7,000 cell phones were discovered in California prisons. The number this year is above 8,000.

Officials say prisoners use smuggled cell phones for a range of criminal activity, including running drug rings and planning escapes. In some cases, prison guards have been accused of bringing the phones into prisons and selling them for as much as $1,000 a piece.

This summer, President Obama signed a bill banning cell phones from federal prisons and making it a crime to smuggle one in. That law does not apply to state institutions.

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