England’s Kent Police say they have secured the U.K.’s first sentencing for using a drone to send banned items into a prison.
Daniel Kelly, 37, was sentenced yesterday to 14 months of imprisonment for the offense. The police say he admitted sending items, including spice, a psychoactive substance and tobacco, into two prisons in Kent and another in Hertfordshire.
Kelly was arrested on April 25 after officers on patrol spotted a vehicle parked in Eastchurch Rd., Leysdown. The lights were on, but it appeared unoccupied. A person then ran into the front passenger seat, and the vehicle sped off. It was later found in a holiday park in Leysdown, and Kelly was arrested at the scene, according to the Kent Police.
The drone was then found in the trunk of the vehicle. In an attempt to avoid detection, according to the police, the previously white drone had been sprayed black; black tape had also been placed over its lights.
Flight data revealed that Kelly had used the drone to send items
into HMP Elmley on April 20 and into HMP The Mount on April 24. He also used it to fly into HMP Swaleside on April 25. Unsuccessful attempts to fly the drone into HMP Wandsworth were made on April 17 and April 21.
“As with all new offences, investigating this presented challenges that we have not come across before, but the officers were able to corroborate all of the evidence and secure a conviction in a relatively short space of time,” says Detective Sergeant Richard Allingham, the senior investigating officer.