Inmates Smuggle In Drugs, Porn, Phones with Drones

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Prison inmates are disrupting long-standing methods of smuggling drugs, porn, and cellphones the same way online retailers hope to one day deliver socks and underwear to homes — through the air, with drones, reports the Washington Post. By coordinating with wingmen on the outside for shipments of contraband, inmates can bypass the need to bribe corrupt guards or persuade family members to hide forbidden items in body cavities. Last year, there was a melee at an Ohio prison after a drone dropped heroin into the exercise yard. In April, security cameras at a London prison recorded a drone delivering drugs directly to an inmate’s window.

In Western Maryland this year, convicted a recently released inmate and a prisoner serving a life sentence were convicted on charges of attempted drug distribution and delivery of contraband after they completed several nighttime missions netting them $6,000 per drop in product sales. It was such a lucrative scheme that the former inmate had purchased a new truck for himself with the profits. In many cases, the drones soaring over prison walls are the same $50-to-$500 devices that show up under Christmas trees only to be promptly crashed into trees by their new owners. Flight paths are somewhat clearer in the stark nothingness surrounding many prisons. “We are trying to keep up with technology just like everyone else,” said Stephen Moyer, secretary of Public Safety & Correctional Services for Maryland. “So this is a huge challenge for all of us in corrections.”

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