BOISE, Idaho — Officials with the Idaho Department of Correction are asking lawmakers to make it a felony to bring cellphones or other contraband into the state's prisons.

Idaho Department of Corrections Deputy Warden of Virtual Prisons Tim Higgins told the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee Wednesday that cellphones are the most sought-after contraband inside prisons. A basic disposable phone sells on the prison black market for about $400, according to the department, while a smartphone with internet access goes for $1,200.

Higgins said Idaho prisoners have used cellphones to direct drug trafficking operations, intimidate witnesses and set up retaliation beatings against inmates in other facilities.

The lawmakers voted unanimously to introduce the legislation.