(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Photo: Bruce Bennett
Photo: Bruce Bennett

Drone attempts to drop cellphones over prison

According to a report, the grounded UAV was found at approximately 1 a.m. by a correctional officer patrolling the perimeter of the facility. The officer noticed a flashing light approaching the fence in the early morning hours of March 13.

After noticing the lights, the officer notified central control. A team of officers then went to the location the UAV crash landed.

Strings affixed to the device carried a plastic sack containing three cellphones.

“New technology brings new problems,” Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh said. “In the case of drones, we not only have to worry about the contraband attached, but also aerial photos being taken of facilities to help plan escapes or commit other crimes.

“We will continue to explore options in terms of what to do to prevent this from happening. Until then we will work with facilities, the DOC Inspector General’s Office and local authorities to catch individuals using drones to smuggle contraband and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Sunday’s contraband drop attempt was the second reported incident of its kind in the state’s prison system. The previous attempt was in October at Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

The UAV and cellphones have been turned over to the Inspector General’s Office for further investigation.

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