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Drones smuggling porn, drugs and other contraband to inmates around the world

April 18, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Drones smuggling porn, drugs and other contraband to inmates around the world

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For years, inmates have come up with original, and sometimes very compromising, methods to smuggle contraband into prisons. They’ve bribed corrections officers, utilized carrier pigeons, had family members place the items in body cavities, among others.

However, modern technology is making life easier for prisoners looking to smuggle illegal goods inside of prison walls, according to Fox News.

Corrections officials across the country have reported an increase in recent years of drones flying over prisons to deliver everything from cigarettes and porn to drugs and weapons.

Georgia man used drones to smuggle contraband for prison drug trafficking organization

Michigan prison officials said last spring that they discovered a toy drone on the grounds of the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center. While the drone was too little to carry any contraband, officials said that it was probably used to investigate the jails defenses and security for a future endeavor.

“It’s funny because it’s a toy that came over. But in the larger sense, it is a serious incident,” Michigan Department of Corrections spokesperson Chris Gautz said.

Prisons worldwide are working to stop drone smuggling attempts

The occurrence in Michigan was followed by similar incidents in Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina and Georgia and has prompted state officials to call for a revamping of prison facilities and tactics.

A piece of legislation which is making its way around Washington state’s capitol building proposes that flying a drone within 1,000 feet of the border of a facility would warrant a Class C felony. A similar policy has been proposed in Michigan — as Senate Bills 487 and 488 — making it a felony to fly drones within 1,000 feet of a prison.

In spring 2015, South Carolina revealed that extensive resources would be put forth to prevent drones from accessing prisons — including constructing watch towers for guards to more effectively spot approaching drones.

Melee erupts at Ohio Prison after drone drops drugs into yard area

This move came after guards at the Lee Correctional Institution found a downed drone during a routine check that had crashed while carrying cell phones, weed, and tobacco.

The problem of drones taking over prisons isn’t just an issue in the U.S.

Penitentiaries in Canada, Brazil, Russia, Australia, Thailand, Greece, and England are all fighting to combat the increase of the inexpensive robotics.

Maryland man admitted to role in prison drone smuggling ring: Prosecutor

Canadian officials are placing nets over perimeter fences or walls to stop drones, while Irish authorities are going old school with wires and sharp eyes to take down any drones.

The U.K. announced the formation of a “specialist squad” that will be tasked with investigating drone smuggling and passing that information down to local-level officers.

The threat of drones is not just limited to jails, as countries across the globe are on the lookout for terrorists and other criminal organizations using the evolving technology to carry out fatal attacks.

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