Drone carrying cellphones, drugs, hacksaw blades crashes at Oklahoma prison

OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Officials in Oklahoma claim to have halted the first attempt in the state to smuggle contraband into a prison with an unmanned aerial vehicle.

A drone hauling mobile phones, drugs, hacksaw blades and other items--all of which were hanging in a bundle from a fishing line--crashed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary before prisoners could grab anything, officials announced on Tuesday.

The drone is said to have run into razor wire on prison walls, mid-flight on Monday. Its operator lost control of the UAV, and the drone crashed into prison grounds.

The little bundle it carried contained the following:

• Two 12-inch hacksaw blades

• A cellphone and battery

• “A hands-free device”

• Two packages of Newport Cigarettes

• Two packages of Black & Mild cigars

• Two tubes of super glue

• A 5.3 ounce bag containing marijuana

• A 0.8 ounce bag containing methamphetamine

• A bag containing less than 1 gram of heroin

It's a story that will no doubt be advantageous for lawmakers pushing for strict drone regulations around the country.

“Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Contraband Drop Seized at Oklahoma State Penitentiary,” reads the Oklahoma State Department of Corrections' press release on the matter. A snip:

At approximately 9 a.m. on duty staff noticed a UAV lying upside down on facility grounds. After making contact with the shift supervisor, it had been determined the UAV had hit the razor wire upon its ascent, causing it to lose control resulting in a crash.

According to security at the facility, the package containing the contraband was suspended under the drone with fishing line. The package contained: two – 12 inch hacksaw blades, a cellphone, a cellphone battery, a hands-free device, two packages of Newport Cigarettes, two packages of Black & Mild cigars, two tubes of super glue, a 5.3 ounce bag containing marijuana, a 0.8 ounce bag containing methamphetamine and a bag containing less than 1 gram of heroin.

Today’s attempt to smuggle contraband into a facility via UAV is the first reported incident of its kind in the state.

“I applaud and commend the quick action and diligence on the part of the staff who noticed the UAV that entered the prison grounds,” said Patton. “We are continuing to take a broad approach to increasing awareness in dealing with contraband at all of our facilities statewide. We must maintain vigilance and stay one step ahead of the game in terms of the technology being used in and around facilities. Nothing is off the table when we are talking about the safety of the public, staff and offenders being housed in our facilities.”

[Reuters, via Reddit]

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