Trash-picking inmates make explosive find

A crew of low-custody prison inmates cleaning trash from a New Jersey highway this morning made a discovery that might have spurred more hardened prisoners to plot an escape: A discarded handgun.

These inmates instead alerted a supervisor after their 10:30 a.m. find on Interstate 195 in Jackson Township, and the supervisor called in state troopers, who confirmed the object was indeed an abandoned handgun, said Lt. Stephen Jones, a New Jersey State Police spokesman. The troopers cordoned off the scene to investigate and turned the weapon over to firearm experts to trace, Jones added. Jones had no details on how many inmates were involved in the litter patrol, nor in which prison they're housed.

"Unusual items are not unusual to find, but a gun is fairly unusual," Jones said.