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Ontario prison receives several packages of contraband delivered through a drone

Sep 1, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Confiscated items include 908 grams of tobacco, 106 grams of cannabis, and 153 grams of cannabis concentrate

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Correctional officers at the Warkworth Institution near Campbellford, Ont. recently discovered contraband, including cannabis, which they believe was surreptitiously delivered to the medium-security facility by drone.

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From Aug. 25 to 26, staff seized several packages containing contraband and unauthorized items, according to Correctional Service Canada (CSC).

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Specifically, the confiscated items included 908 grams of tobacco, 106 grams of cannabis, 153 grams of shatter (cannabis concentrate), and an unidentified number of cellphones and phone-related accessories. The CSC did not note an institutional value for the recovered items.

The items were recovered as a result of staff vigilance, one of several tools the CSC uses to help keep contraband out of correctional centres. Meant to ensure a safe environment for staff and inmates, other tools include using ion scanners, having detector dogs that can search buildings, personal property, inmates and visitors, and partnering with police.

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It’s not the first suspected drone drop of drugs for Warkworth Institution.

In July of 2021, the St. Catharines Standard reported tobacco and drugs valued at almost $296,000 inside several packages that were seized by staff.

Drones used both north and south of the border to deliver drugs

Indeed, delivering contraband to correctional centres by drone has proved somewhat commonplace in recent years.

A drone was also the suspected delivery vehicle in the seizure of two packages containing 466 grams of tobacco, 369 grams of marijuana, 53 grams of shatter, drug paraphernalia, cellphones and cellphone accessories at Collins Bay Institution this past Mar. 11, according to the Kingston Whig-Standard.

The same institution received another drone delivery, this time 780 grams of cannabis said to have an institutional value of $78,000, in October 2019, per Global News.

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In the U.S., a 34-year-old man pleaded guilty earlier in 2022 to possession with intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana after a failed bid by him and a friend to deliver about 60 grams of cannabis inside the gates of the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in 2020.

“The duo’s plan almost worked until the drone got caught in security nets above the facility’s razor wire fences,” according to a Mississippi Department of Corrections Facebook post at the time.

Three years earlier in Ohio, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office reported it was investigating an incident where a drone was used to airdrop cannabis and a cellphone into a jail.

Authorities in Ohio released a video they say shows an inmate collecting contraband dropped by drone over a county jail’s outdoor exercise yard.
Authorities in Ohio released a video they say shows an inmate collecting contraband dropped by drone over a county jail’s outdoor exercise yard. Photo by The Associated Press

A 46-second clip from jail security shows an inmate in the recreation yard almost tripping as he receives a black package falling from the sky. He then quickly stuffs the booty into his shirt and walks away.

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Beyond deliveries by drone, however, the CSC regularly announces seizures of cannabis and weed-related products.

Just over the last two weeks, an agency announcement shows the staff at the Springhill Institution in the Nova Scotia community of the same name confiscated a package containing hash, shatter, cocaine, cellphones, SIM cards, charging cords and a charging block.

CSC estimated the institutional value of the goods seized at the medium-security federal institution was $173,500. “The police have been notified and the institution is investigating,” the agency reports.

At Quebec’s Cowansville Institution, a federal medium security institution, staff there found a package containing 269 grams of hashish and 94.5 grams of tobacco with an estimated institutional value of $26,910.

And a package containing 150 grams of tobacco, 56 grams of marijuana and 25 grams of shatter was seized on the property of Ontario’s Beaver Creek Institution, a federal multi-level security institution, on Aug. 14.

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