The idea of drones smuggling drugs into a Michigan prison may seem far-fetched, but South Carolina officials have encountered this issue recently. On April 21, a crashed drone was discovered outside of the razor wire fencing at a correctional facility. Officials believe that the incident involving the maximum security prison may be the first such case in the state although a similar incident occurred in Georgia last year. In the Georgia case, tobacco and cellphones were found in a drone that attempted to enter a prison facility. In the South Carolina case, however, marijuana was discovered in addition to tobacco and phones.
At this point, a 28-year-old man faces drug possession charges in connection with the incident. Another man is being sought due to his identification on convenience store video as he purchased items that were allegedly found in the downed aircraft. While officials are unsure of the exact cause of the crash, it is believed that the craft may have malfunctioned or been downed by the operator.
Advanced technology may make drones more accessible to everyday people. It's important to recognize that the individual charged with a crime has a right to defend himself in court. Although the drone may have been traced to him, the involvement of another individual may provide an explanation for the incident. If the defendant could demonstrate that the drone was taken and operated without his permission, for example, it might be possible to achieve a positive outcome in court.
Legal assistance may be important for properly addressing the charges currently at issue. Court records do not currently list an attorney in the case. An attorney may be important for evaluating the charges and the potential for successfully defending against them. Additionally, an attorney may explore options such as charge reduction or lighter penalties in exchange for a guilty plea.
Source: ABC News, "Drone Carrying Drugs And Phones Crashes Outside South Carolina Prison", Alyssa Newcomb, July 31, 2014