An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was detained in an attempt to smuggle contraband over a wall at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester yesterday, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC).
At approximately 9:00 a.m., on-duty staff noticed a UAV lying upside down on facility grounds. They determined that the aircraft had hit a razor wire upon its ascent, lost control and crashed.
According to security at the facility, a package containing contraband was suspended under the drone with fishing line. The package contained two 12-inch hacksaw blades, a cellphone and cellphone battery, a hands-free device, two packages of Newport cigarettes, two packages of Black & Mild cigars, two tubes of super glue, a 5.3-ounce bag of marijuana, a 0.8-ounce bag containing methamphetamine, and a bag containing less than 1 gram of heroin.
The UAV has been turned over to the DOC’s Office of the Inspector General for further investigation. According to the DOC, this attempt to smuggle contraband into a facility via UAV is the first reported incident of its kind in the state.
“I applaud and commend the quick action and diligence on the part of the staff who noticed the UAV that entered the prison grounds,” comments Robert Patton, DOC director.
“We are continuing to take a broad approach to increasing awareness in dealing with contraband at all of our facilities statewide. We must maintain vigilance and stay one step ahead of the game in terms of the technology being used in and around facilities. Nothing is off the table when we are talking about the safety of the public, staff and offenders being housed in our facilities,” he continues, adding that he is aware of similar incidents in other states.
Last month, three men were indicted by an Allegany County, Md., grand jury in a plot to use a UAV to fly drugs, tobacco and pornography into a Maryland correctional facility.