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Police: Inmate coordinated robberies from prison

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Police say a man convicted in metro Atlanta jewelry store robberies coordinated the crimes from a prison about 250 miles miles away by using a contraband cell phone.

Authorities say that the case underscores the problems caused by illegal cell phones in Georgia prisons.

Gwinnett County police investigators say Deuntria Lyons orchestrated the heists from his prison cell at Smith State Prison in Glennville.

Detective David Brucz says Lyons sent text messages from prison instructing others where to meet and how he wanted them to carry out the robberies. Brucz says he also instructed others how to split up the stolen merchandise.

Lyons this week was found guilty of 13 counts in connection with the robberies of Barron's Fine Jewelry and Tara Fine Jewelry.