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August 4, 2015

"Drone drops drugs, tobacco in Mansfield prison yard, spurs fight"

The title of this post is the headline of this new article from my own Columbus Dispatch.  Here are the (serious and amusing) details:

A drone deposited a package containing drugs and tobacco at the Mansfield Correctional Institution last week, sparking a fight among inmates in recreation yards.  The State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident in a bid to determine who flew the drone over the prison and for whom the package was intended.

The drone came buzzing over the prison about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, although prison officials were unaware of its presence until video from surveillance cameras was reviewed after the brawl among inmates.  Prison workers recovered the drone’s deposit, which contained 5 ounces of tobacco, 2.3 ounces of marijuana and 0.2 of an ounce of heroin, according to a report.  If half pure, the heroin amounted to about 140 individual doses.

State prisons have encountered drones previously, said Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman JoEllen Smith. She could not immediately provide details on the prior flyovers.  "Our agency’s top security administrators are taking a broad approach to increase awareness and detection of unmanned aerial systems," Smith said....

During the scuffle, the package was thrown over a fence from the north recreation yard to the south yard, the report said.  A sweep of the area found the package hidden in the equipment room of the south recreation yard. Officers also searched roofs and other areas for any other packages, but found nothing.

Corrections officers used pepper spray to douse the fighting and about 200 prisoners from both the north and south recreation yards were carefully searched before being returned to their cells.  Nine inmates involved in the scramble for the package were placed in solitary confinement.  There were no injuries to prisoners or prison employees. The close-security prison contains about 2,700 inmates.

Prior related post:

August 4, 2015 at 03:05 PM | Permalink

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