UAV drops package of drugs in prison yard

An unmanned aerial vehicle flew over a prison yard in Ohio, dropping a package that contained heroin, marijuana, and tobacco, immediately causing a fight to ensue.

Aug 5th, 2015
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Seen on CBS Cleveland:A drone dropped a package of drugs into a prison yard while inmates were outside, sparking a fight, prison officials said.

The package was dropped July 29 at the Mansfield Correctional Institution, about 65 miles southwest of Cleveland. It contained almost a quarter of an ounce of heroin, over 2 ounces of marijuana and more than 5 ounces of tobacco, JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, told theMansfield News Journal.

Read full article onCBS Cleveland.

Our take:

Chock this one up as a win for the anti-drone people out there. Anunmanned aerial vehicle flew over a prison yard in Ohio, dropping a package that contained heroin, marijuana, and tobacco, immediately causing a fight to ensue. The fracas resulted in corrections officers needing to use pepper spray to control the fight.

I have to admit that this is something I had never thought of when it comes to the potential negatives of UAVs.. Of course the privacy issue that always comes up, in terms of UAV usage, is something that is real, and something that should be taken into consideration in terms of theFAA developing rules for commercial and public use of the technology, especially UAVs equipped with cameras. But dropping off drugs into a prison yard is a whole new issue.

JoEllen Smith, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said in the article that there have been other instances of drones breaching security, and that the agency is taking steps to increase awareness and improve drone detection.

Prisons, of course, won’t be the only places that will need to take action when it comes to detecting drones.

- James Carroll, Vision Systems Design Senior Web Editor

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