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Delivery drone carrying marijuana, cellphones and tobacco crashed outside a S.C. prison

(Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP/Getty Images)

Police are seeking one man and have arrested another who they believe tried to smuggle contraband into a South Carolina prison by way of drone.

On the morning of April 21, officers discovered a small drone that had crashed in the bushes outside the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C., according to the Associated Press. The drone never made it over the 12-foot fence, though the AP noted that “officials aren’t sure exactly where the drone would have gone if it made it over the wall.”

The drone was carrying marijuana, cellphones and tobacco, according to Stephanie Givens, a spokeswoman for the S.C. Department of Corrections.

One person, 28-year-old Brenton Lee Doyle, has been arrested in connection with the incident and appeared in court Wednesday. He has been charged with attempting to smuggle contraband into a prison and possession of the drug flunitrazepam, also known as “roofies,” according to Reuters.

Police have issued a plea for information about a second suspect who may be connected to the incident. They released a series of surveillance photos of the man taken in a convenience store near the prison.

As smuggling attempts go, this is slightly more sophisticated than the old cellphone-over-the-wall trick — which somehow still manages to be effective.

It isn’t new, however.

In November, four people were arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle a few pounds of tobacco into a Georgia correctional facility using a remote-controlled helicopter. According to WALB, they were caught after prison officers noticed the helicopter trying to get over the prison walls.

To their credit, the helicopter smugglers made sure to keep an eye on the aircraft with binoculars.

Abby Phillip is a national political reporter for the Washington Post. She can be reached at On Twitter: @abbydphillip



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