Drones delivering contraband to prisons a budding problem
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