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Drone Drops Drugs into Prison Yard, Incites Fighting

August 5, 2015  - By 0 Comments
Mansfield Correctional Institute (photo by U.S. Corrections-Special Operations Group)

Mansfield Correctional Institute (photo by U.S. Corrections-Special Operations Group)

A drone flew over an Ohio prison and dropped a payload containing heroin, marijuana and tobacco last week, causing a fight to break out. Prison officers rushed into the north yard of Mansfield Correctional Institution in Mansfield after noticing 75 inmates gathering and fighting, according to an incident report from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as reported by CNN.

Authorities later viewed a survelliance video that showed a drone delivery had caused the fighting. Inmates were able to get their hands on the delivery containing 144.5 grams of tobacco, 65.4 grams of marijuana and 6.6 grams of heroin before the fight ensued and the package was thrown into the prison’s south yard, the incident report said.

Two corrections officers called for assistance and ordered the inmates to stop fighting, according to the department. They used pepper spray to control the fight, reports U.S. News and World Report. About 75 inmates in the north recreation yard and 130 on the south recreation yard were taken to the gyms, where they were strip-searched, run through a cell sensor and checked by a clinic. The nine people involved in the fight were placed in solitary confinement. No staff members or inmates were injured, the department said.

This is not the first time an Ohio prison has had an incident with unmanned aerial vehicles, according to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections spokeswoman JoEllen Smith. She declined to elaborate further because of a potential security risk.

Ohio authorities are now on the lookout for more attempts to use drones to smuggle drugs over prison walls and into inmates hands, and the owner of the drone is being sought. “It’s something we’re certainly aware of,” Smith told CNN. “We’re taking a broad approach to increasing staff awareness and detection.”

This article is tagged with , , , , , and posted in GIS News, UAS/UAV
Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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