Drones de­liv­er­ing con­tra­band to pris­ons a bud­ding prob­lem

South Florida Times - - CARIBBEAN - Drones over­come the best prison se­cu­rity. News-Jour­nal

PEN­SACOLA, Fla. (AP) - A pack­age of con­tra­band cov­ered in grass clip­pings that was dropped by a drone at a Pan­han­dle prison is one of the most re­cent ex­am­ples of in­mates us­ing ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy to smug­gle il­le­gal items be­hind prison walls.

The re­ports that au­thor­i­ties are in­ves­ti­gat­ing two con­firmed drone drops at Florida pris­ons in the last 30 days. One of those drops was dis­cov­ered at a Pan­han­dle prison af­ter cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers spot­ted the drone, which was de­liv­er­ing a cell­phone and to­bacco.

The Florida Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions de­clined to spec­ify at which in­sti­tu­tion the drop hap­pened and would only con­firm it hap­pened at a prison in the North­west re­gion of the state.

Of­fi­cials say drones plague pris­ons across the na­tion, and most cor­rec­tions de­part­ments are try­ing to keep up with new tech­nol­ogy.

“We know that drones are a real is­sue,” FDC spokes­woman Michelle Glady said, adding that aside from the two con­firmed sight­ings, there have been sev­eral other sus­pected drone-re­lated drops.

A drone in­ci­dents fact­sheet pro­vided by the depart­ment says the drone was ob­served by a cor­rec­tional of­fi­cer, who saw it suc­cess­fully de­liver con­tra­band in­side of the prison.

The cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers im­me­di­ately re­sponded to the area where the drone was spot­ted and found the pack­age, which con­tained a cell­phone with ac­ces­sories such as charg­ers, ear­buds and a SIM card, and sev­eral grams of to­bacco.

The pack­age was cov­ered with dead grass clip­ping in an ap­par­ent at­tempt to cam­ou­flage or con­ceal the pack­age.

State Sen. Doug Brox­son, R-Gulf Breeze, said he was made aware of the drone


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