Drones suspected of banned substance drops to Ontario prison

prison banned substances drone

Another day, another bountiful drop of banned substances into a prison by suspected drone pilots – this one involving an array of drugs discovered at a Canadian penitentiary just four days after a similar illegal delivery was discovered.

Prison officials at the Warkworth Institution in Ontario said they discovered the banned stash of narcotics and cellphones earlier this week after it had been brought into the facility by what they highly suspect was a drone drop. That suspicion is based in large part on the rising incidence of UAVs making contraband deliveries to jails around the world

Indeed, just four days before turning up that reserve on Monday, guards uncovered another stockpile of contraband they believe was ferried in from above.

Searches resulting in the initial seizure bagged two cellphones, 111 grams of marijuana, 84 grams of crystal methamphetamine, and 56 grams of cannabis concentrate known as “shatter.” The second raid netted 200 grams of tobacco, 82 grams of marijuana, 55 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 56 grams of shatter, and another pair of cellphones according to Correctional Service Canada.

There are a few reasons why officials are assuming the banned substances were dropped into the prison by drone

For starters, the same sniffer dogs, specialized ion scanners, and physical searchers used to unearth the two stores of contraband are also present and at work during visitor arrivals and mail reception to ensure nothing prohibited is being snuck into the facility. That leaves aerial conveyance the most compelling alternative.

Another is that the two banned reserves were so similar in content that the second may well have been ordered in response to the confiscation of the first – a rapid delivery scenario that would make organizing physical smuggling into the prison so quickly even more difficult, leaving drones as the likely suspect.

The most compelling motive for assuming drones were behind the deliveries, however, is the increasingly common use of the craft to feed booming black-market sales in jails across Canadathe US, and around the world.

Indeed, the spiking use of drones to deliver an array of banned items for prison resale has been become a world-wide scourge. Nets installed over exercise yards have demonstrated limited effectiveness in halting aerial releases, and counter-UAV tech is often too expensive for deployment, especially at very large penitentiaries. In some cases, penitentiary staffers themselves were caught operating drops.

ReadTexas prison drone drug-smuggling ring busted, netting 42 suspects 

Just how frequent – and lucrative – has drone-running of contraband into prisons become? 

The day after the first illegal hoard was discovered by Warkworth Institution guards, their peers in what Correctional Service Canada described as a “federal multi-level security institution” in Quebec confiscated 200 grams of hashish, 200 grams of tobacco, one cellphone and charging cable, and seven SIM cards. The total value on internal prison markets was estimated at nearly $15,000. 

Photo: Larry Farr/Unsplash

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