A local video vigilante said he has proof inmates are texting from behind prison walls.
Brian Bates claims he had an undercover text conversation with an inmate who wasn’t supposed to have access to a cell phone.
DOC officials tell NewsChannel 4 the inspector general is looking into the matter right now.
Bates said he was able to carry on a 5-hour conversation through text messages with inmate Mario Diaz.
Diaz is a known pimp to metro law enforcement.
He’s serving time in prison for racketeering.
When police arrested him in 2011, they said he was selling prostitutes on Robinson Ave. and online.
John TV’s Bates said he got word Diaz was still running his crime ring from behind bars and intimidating a former employee.
“He’s using this cell phone and has over the past several months to try to get a hold of her, intimidate family members of hers and they let her know this was happening,” Bates said.
“I’m still traumatized today for what he did to me, and it's not even 1/16 of what he did to the other girls,” said a woman who claims she was a prostitute for Diaz.
“I began texting him, and he assumed I was a young lady, one of his former victims he'd been trying to get a hold of,” Bates said.
Bates said no one caught Diaz with the phone.
“I called the correctional facility he's at. I gave them his name, said he's on the phone right now. I asked, ‘Would you like us to call him and keep him on the phone, so they can get him?’" Bates said. "They said do whatever you want. An hour later, he is still on his phone communicating with people.”
Bates doesn’t think the prison did its job, but DOC officials told us guards did search the cell Diaz is in and couldn’t find a cell phone or sim card.
But, text messages exchanged between Bates and Diaz that are time-stamped show their conversation did in fact go on for hours.
“He talked a little bit about pimping. He talked a little bit about hoeing," Bates said. "He said he has money hidden on the outside, when he gets out, so they're going to be flushing cash again."
DOC said they are working to trace the number allegedly used by Diaz.