Officers at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility confiscated a large amount of contraband during an unannounced search of the prison’s Central Unit on Tuesday, including nearly four dozen weapons.

HCF officers were assisted in conducting the search involving more than 1,000 general population inmates by officers from Ellsworth Correctional Facility, Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility and the Kansas Highway Patrol, according to a release from the prison.

The search yielded 46 weapons, numerous pills, and packages of illicit drugs, drug paraphernalia, 10 cell phones and eight phone chargers.

“The introduction of these items into any facility threatens the safety and security of the facility itself, staff and inmates,” Corrections Secretary Roger Werholtz stated in the release. “We are very appreciative of the thoroughness and professionalism of the officers conducting the search.”

The seized items were “typical of what we find in a correctional facility,” Werholtz stated.

“But the facility is absolutely safer when we can stem the flow of contraband.”

Inmates found in possession of contraband will receive disciplinary reports, although searchers could not connect all items to a specific inmate.

While Tuesday’s search involved special security officers from other correctional facilities and KHP troopers, HCF regularly conducts searches, stated HCF Warden Dan Schnurr.

The facility recently temporarily halted visitation privileges and restricted the movement of inmates due to several inmate fights that broke out, involving two to three inmates in each incident.

“The facility was already in the process of organizing a large-scale search prior to the incidents,” Schnurr stated. “However, the incidents did prompt us to move up the schedule.”

The search Tuesday also marked the first time that the Kansas Highway Patrol joined in on a search at HCF.

“This kind of collaboration helps all involved gain additional knowledge and demonstrates how we can work together to keep Kansas safer,” Schnurr said.