Aviation Vs. Incarceration: Drones Delivering Drugs Into Prison Yards

Drones!  Is there anything they can't do?  They help to fight fires, deliver contraceptives, bomb insurgents, and don't even require an endless supply of pharmaceutical-grade speed to keep their pilots awake!  Now, they've added a naughty new skill to their flying functions...

"OVER HERE!  DROP THE WEED OVER HERE!"
(Image courtesy nativemonster.com.)


As reported by the New York Times, accomplices to prison inmates are "airmailing" in packages of drugs, cell phones, and tobacco to those who reside on the inside.  The big walls of the big house are apparently not big enough to deter this flying flaunting of the law.

While prison walls are supposed to be high enough to thwart escapees and thrown-in things, the drones have no problem swooping overhead and dropping a payload.  This way, no valuable cash needs to go to a prison guard for smuggled goods, and one doesn't have to risk the pain and problems of personally smuggling in items in available orifices.

With this method, holding your calls has never been more uncomfortable.
(Image courtesy nyc.barstoolsports.com.)

Several attempts of illicit drone deliveries have been made in the US this year, as well as prohibited para-drops in Ireland, Canada, Britain, and Australia.  According to guards who have intercepted such goodies, nearly two ounces of synthetic (or real) marijuana can fit aboard a drone, as well as solid objects like cellphones and chargers.

The drones 'n phones combo is a popular one:  smartphones are difficult to track in prison, and allow for inmates to play games, watch movies and pornography, and otherwise enjoy life when they're not supposed to be doing so.  The phones also help connect smugglers with clients so they can sell more drugs and find more drone-drops.

A crash and a stash.
(Image courtesy bbc.com.)

Warden Cecilia Reynolds of South Carolina's Lee Correctional Institute is not pleased with this lack of failure to communicate.  “We’ve got to do something about this — these cellphones are killing us,” she said.

So far, rudimentary tactics (namely, placing beehives with "Danger!  Bees!  Keep Out!" signs in the woods near the prison...yes, seriously) have failed.  More technologically-oriented attempts, such as geofencing software, will force drones to fly only in certain areas.  But while that sort of force-field technology is easily to facilitate over places like the White House, it might be some time before it reaches South Carolina.

In the meantime, keep your eyes on the skies, coppers...how long until a human-hefting drone tries to make a getaway?

Not that anyone would try to escape while they had airdrops of good bud on the horizon,
 and nothing better to do all day...
(Image courtesy pocket-lint.com.)

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