SC gov: Feds should let prisons jam cell phones

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gov. Mark Sanford is pressing federal regulators to let South Carolina prisons use equipment to jam the signals of cell phones being used illicitly by prisoners.

Sanford plans to speak Wednesday at a prison in Columbia. He will be joined by Capt. Robert Johnson, who authorities say was nearly killed at his home earlier this year in an attack planned with a smuggled phone. Johnson was in charge of keeping contraband out of prisons.

A decades-old federal law says the Federal Communications Commission can let federal agencies jam the public airwaves but prevents state and local authorities from stopping signals.

The FCC has taken no action on a petition from South Carolina officials asking to start a pilot program to jam cell phone signals behind bars.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.