CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WDRB) - A surprise visit Saturday morning inside the Clark County Jail turned up four weapons. Officers say it's not uncommon for inmates to get creative.

It's all part of a big sweep at the jail. All 500 inmates and their living areas were checked for anything illegal. Sheriff Jamey Noel calls it a full-scale search and inventory.

"Each inmate is issued certain things when they're incarcerated here and we're going to make sure and account they only have what's issued to them," Noel said.

Officers found four wooden shanks in Saturday's sweep.

The large-scale operation included help from sheriff's offices in Floyd, Scott and Jennings Counties, the Indiana Department of Corrections and Clarksville Police.

"(We want) to make sure we're recognizing the inmates rights and to make sure we're treating them fairly,” Noel said. “But at the same time, they have to understand when you get arrested, there are rules to go by jail rules and Indiana rules, and they're going to do that.

More than 100 officers went cell to cell using sticks with mirrors to search hidden spaces. They even brought in dogs that can sniff out drugs and cell phones.

"Could you imagine being a victim of a violent crime, or having protective order against somebody and they're calling you, the victim, from a cell phone from inside the jail," Noel said. "We're just not going to tolerate it."

Inmates do try to sneak things past officers.

"They have 24 hours a day to sit and think about how can I make something ... where can I hide something," Noel said.

Many of them get creative using body cavities to sneak things in.

"The reason it's challenging is we have to have probable cause to do a strip search,” Noel said. “You just can't do a strip search of everyone who enters the facility unless there's probable cause.”

Sheriff Noel hopes their unannounced sweep sends a message.

"Don't come to Clark County Jail and bring contraband with you,” he said. “Fortunately, we don't want to see you here, but once you're here we want you to do your debt to society and we don't want you to come back."

The two inmates who were found with the shanks face felony charges.

One of them was just charged on Friday for criminal gang activity inside the jail.

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