An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was recently found on the grounds of Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing, Okla., after attempting to fly a package containing cell phones onto prison grounds, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC).
The department’s report says the UAV was found at approximately 1 a.m. on Sunday, March 13, by a correctional officer patrolling the perimeter of the facility. The officer first noticed a flashing light approaching the fence and alerted central control.
A team of officers then went to the drone and discovered the device was equipped with strings that carried a plastic sack with three cell phones. The UAV and phones have been turned over to the DOC’s inspector general’s office for further investigation.
Sunday’s contraband-drop attempt was the second reported incident of its kind in the state’s prison system, says the department. The previous attempt was in October at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.
“New technology brings new problems,” comments Joe M. Allbaugh, the DOC’s director. “In the case of drones, we not only have to worry about the contraband attached, but also aerial photos being taken of facilities to help plan escapes or commit other crimes.
“We will continue to explore options in terms of what to do to prevent this from happening. Until then, we will work with facilities, the DOC inspector general’s office and local authorities to catch individuals using drones to smuggle contraband and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
Photos courtesy of the Oklahoma DOC