CORCORAN (CBS 5) — One of California’s most infamous prisoners has been communicating from behind prison walls making calls and sending texts with a cell phone smuggled into his cell.

Charles Manson, the man at the center of one of the largest killing sprees in the country, somehow got his hands on a cell phone.

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Correctional officers found it under his bed in his cell at Corcoran State Prison.

The California Department of Corrections said Manson called and texted people in several states including New Jersey, Florida and California.

While they don’t know who he called, the Department of Corrections said it was very concerned that Manson had a cell phone considering he was once able to convince others to murder for him.

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The state said inmates use the smuggled phones to commit all kinds of crimes, which is why they were now using dogs find what guards miss.
And cell phone smuggling is skyrocketing. In 2007, officers found 1,400 cell phones. Just two years later, the number rose to nearly 7,000.  And so far this year, they’ve found more than 8,600.

It’s against federal law for prisoners to have cell phones. But, that’s just in federal prisons. In California it’s not illegal.

That means thousands of prisoners, like Manson, face no punishment for possession of what’s become one of the most sought after prison contraband.

A California state senator is trying to change that with a new bill that would makeit illegal for inmates to have cell phones and punish anyone who smuggles cell phones into prisons.

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