Our last blog focused on a man who was arrested for flying a drone too close to a hospital and then posting the footage on YouTube. As these model aircraft become more popular and cheaper, we expect more people to be arrested for using them for illegal purposes.
This week, a man was arrested in South Carolina for allegedly operating a drone loaded with marijuana, tobacco, and cell phones. He reportedly attempted to fly and land the drone within the boundaries of Lee Correctional Institute, a maximum security prison, presumably to deliver the contraband to a person or people within. The craft apparently malfunctioned or was intentionally crashed outside the razor wire fence that bordered the prison.
It is unknown how authorities traced the drone to its alleged operator, but he was arrested and charged with drug possession and attempting to furnish contraband to inmates. Police are also seeking information about a second man seen on video surveillance at a convenience store buying some of the products that were found attached to the crashed drone.
A spokesman for the prison would not disclose the type of drone that was found, but indicated that it was a model that was “capable of flying long distances.” This is believed to be the first incident of attempting to smuggle drugs into a South Carolina prison using a drone, but it has happened in at least one other state, including neighboring Georgia.