Drones are now being put to use by people on the wrong side of law to smuggle in unauthorized goods into jail. The Vancouver Sun reported that the Correctional Service Canada (CSC) estimates the value of a recent seizure at more than $86,000 worth of contraband —which included a drone, drugs, cellphones and a weapon.
The CSC said the seizure happened at Agassiz’s Kent Institution in the Fraser Valley on March 25 when the drone and package were spotted on the perimeter of the prison. The contraband seized included 28.9 grams of heroin, 61.6 grams of THC concentrate, 108.2 grams of amphetamines, a ceramic edged weapon, two mini cell phones, one full-size cell phone with four SIM cards, 200 tablets of dianabol steroids and 50 tablets of Arimidex estrogen reducer. The CSC said police have been notified and that the institution is investigating. The Kent Institution has a capacity of 378 inmates and is the only maximum-security facility in the CSC’s Pacific region.
Global news reported that Corrections officers in B.C. acknowledged seizure of more than $86,000 in contraband and a drone. The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers is raising concerns about the growing number of attempted contraband drone deliveries-four to five attempted drops per week, and said as drone payloads grow, so too does the risk.
Last year, the CSC seized about $26,500 worth of drugs and tobacco that was successfully dropped by a drone over the wall of B.C.’s Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford on Dec. 23, 2017. and was noticed by vigilant staff members noticed a package was dropped at Matsqui Institution, a medium security federal institution in Abbotsford.
Correction officers at the Rivière-des-Prairies Detention Facility at 11900 Armand-Chaput Avenue said they saw the drone flying nearby. Montreal police arrived shortly after; a security perimeter was erected and the canine squad was deployed.
Talking about the top drone on the market can carry about 20 pounds of weight Tyler McDougall, a drone pilot and lead technician at Candrone in Burnaby says, “But with any technology that’s growing you’re going to have people that are going to use it for not good things.”
Union president Jason Godin told Global News that, “They’re getting cheaper and cheaper, they’re certainly very accessible, so weapons [are?] Getting in … we’ve even had attempts of handguns trying to be smuggled in.” Godin added that improved technology now allows pilots to virtually pinpoint drops at inmates’ cells. The union is calling on the CSC to fast-track pilot anti-drone projects with technologies such as jammers and trackers.
The CSC says it uses a number of tools to prevent drugs from entering its institutions and is taking more measures to prevent contraband from entering the prison system.
A CSC in a media release stated that, “CSC is heightening measures to prevent contraband from entering its institutions in order to help ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone. CSC also works in partnership with the police to take action against those who attempt to introduce contraband into correctional institutions.”