The Battle Against Drones Smuggling Drugs Into Prison (HBO)

The Battle Against Drones Smuggling Drugs Into Prison (HBO)

The drones come in the night. Flown from adjacent farmers’ fields, they fly high up over the floodlit yards of the prison, float momentarily to ensure they’ve not been spotted, and then descend, dropping illicit cargo in plastic bags attached by s-hook —meth, marijuana, tobacco, cell phones.

They do it over and over again, until all the contraband is delivered.

“There’s not a prison not fighting this issue in the country,” says Sean Ferguson, New Technology Project Manager at Georgia State Department of Corrections. “If they say they’re not facing it, they’re just not admitting to it. So it is an issue.”

Drones have been a problem at GDC since at least 2013, when a “remote-controlled helicopter” was seen hovering with contraband over Calhoun State Prison outside of Morgan, GA. Authorities were able to arrest the pilot and recover the smuggled goods, but as drone technology has advanced, arrests and intercepting contraband have become much rarer. And the drone attacks have only increased.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot prison officials can do due to a handful of state and federal laws that prohibit, among other things, shooting the drone out of the sky.

So the GDC has partnered with a New Jersey-based company called AeroDefense to test a drone detection system called AirWarden. It’s basically a drone radar — officials can see where and when a drone has flown into the prison’s airspace. The idea is that they can lock down the facility and do a sweep, before any contraband is discovered by inmates. The local sheriff is dispatched to chase down the drone’s pilot.

They haven’t caught anyone yet, but officials are confident the bad guys know they’re being watched. “The can feel the heat on their backs,” Ferguson says.

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50 Comments

  1. Zymondo on October 15, 2021 at 8:29 am

    If you’re in prison… you are probably not a nice person and deserve to be there. There are alot of rabid animals in prison these days… how about we execute these rabid animals and make more room for less violent criminals ! Execute murderers, rapist, pedophiles and terrorist… DO NOT house them AT OUR EXPENSE like pets. EXECUTE THEM ! ! !

  2. Mike crystal robert on October 15, 2021 at 8:29 am

    Multiple affendors that are doing life should just be shot alot cheaper 20cents for a .22 bullet if that much…life in prison 100.000$

  3. Brian Weiss on October 15, 2021 at 8:31 am

    Sling shot it that’s what they do here in Trenton

  4. Demetrius Ford on October 15, 2021 at 8:32 am

    Just shoot it down they probably can’t even shoot if you cant shoot a flying duck or geese out of the sky you definitely cant shoot a drone 😂😂💀

  5. since4everrr on October 15, 2021 at 8:33 am

    nets

  6. Jason Olinger on October 15, 2021 at 8:33 am

    I heard that it was Bill Clinton that was flying the drone.

  7. Jon Lavi on October 15, 2021 at 8:33 am

    They should have phones and cannabis is legal

  8. Erika Rosca on October 15, 2021 at 8:34 am

    Those police officers that work in the jail are somebody’s mom brother father sister etc ..they are very important to someone and are loved. They’re putting their lives at risk every day that they go to work. When these inmates are high on drugs they are more dangerous than ever .. they act more aggressively.
    So no ..getting high in prison is not a good idea for them.. it is just bringing danger to the people who serve & protect our community …Officers have families to go home to too!!

  9. rdooski on October 15, 2021 at 8:37 am

    Just launch arrows with a bunch of cigarettes attached.

  10. Brian Fowler on October 15, 2021 at 8:39 am

    So prisoners get their dope delivered by drone and I’m still hiding to smoke a blunt.

  11. Marc Van-De-Cappelle on October 15, 2021 at 8:40 am

    What’s wrong with using a Net?

  12. eric mietz on October 15, 2021 at 8:42 am

    This cpu tech reminds me of Lester from grand theft auto 5😅

  13. SecondComingTwice on October 15, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Here’s a clue.. Let the prisoner’s smoke cigarettes, idiots.

  14. Chris Tillery on October 15, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Wow never even thought of that lol

  15. Pacific Northwest360 on October 15, 2021 at 8:44 am

    Lmfao

  16. triple terrific on October 15, 2021 at 8:45 am

    *In America we have private prisons….private …yes like more people= more $$$$$ ….Great concept*

  17. vlād on October 15, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Did you all notice the warden said: we ought to control contraband. I think he was admitting to something there?

  18. Martin Price on October 15, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Yeah. The corrections officer’s don’t like the competition.

  19. scott left on October 15, 2021 at 8:46 am

    I expected the dork to be driving a pinped out yellow Hummer…(better call Saul).

  20. Make Asylums Great Again • 10 years ago on October 15, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Whoever is doing runs with their inspire is absolutely INSANE.

  21. TK on October 15, 2021 at 8:48 am

    Good thing Kanye got Trump to do some prison reform so we can stop paying millions to these morons to legally enslave black people.

  22. Nate Higgers on October 15, 2021 at 8:50 am

    Lol now I want to fly over a prison and drop a bag of sand with a piece of paper saying "sike that’s the wrong number".

  23. Drew Hayden on October 15, 2021 at 8:51 am

    how much contraband is brought into the prison system by the guards themselves? Get on it vice

  24. Justin B on October 15, 2021 at 8:52 am

    This would be a fun video game….flying drones into prisons avoiding the nerd in his ford fusion.

  25. 爪ㄚ丂ㄒ乇尺ㄚ爪卂几 on October 15, 2021 at 8:53 am

    is the Mexican faults

  26. loveforthegame3 on October 15, 2021 at 8:54 am

    Lmfao it really does work. My dealer has been doing this for a little while

  27. CizreK on October 15, 2021 at 8:56 am

    Bro theyre in jail just let them get a lil high sometimes…

  28. B on October 15, 2021 at 8:56 am

    The real problem nobody wants to talk about it is prisons putting drugs into drones!

  29. Gotme Cuz on October 15, 2021 at 8:58 am

    I’m glad there are drones doing this . Prisons imates need sth to do or they will kill each other . Like someone in for violence hurting an inmate that is a non violence offender.

  30. wogfun on October 15, 2021 at 8:59 am

    why the hell would the drone have to actually touch down in the court yard. SUPER SIMPLE…. remotely activated latch, release the package from as high as possible. maybe the phones won’t survive the drop but everything else can be delivered like this.

  31. Mystery D on October 15, 2021 at 9:02 am

    Here’s an idea… purchase RF signal blockers.

  32. Thomas Einzenberger on October 15, 2021 at 9:03 am

    set the captives free

  33. OMM 0910 on October 15, 2021 at 9:04 am

    So?

  34. Chris Rivas on October 15, 2021 at 9:04 am

    I don’t understand…
    Why use quadcopter when you can get 4x the payload in half the time at twice the speed with a Fixed Wing FPV using EDF motors and A launch catapult?

  35. Knarf Trakiul on October 15, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Dont forget most of these prisoners are guilty of some type of crime. Part of the punishment is being stripped away from luxurys of life. They should feel very damn lucky they are not in a Russian prison system.

  36. Christopher Goetz on October 15, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Tabacka

  37. jjmcwill on October 15, 2021 at 9:08 am

    forget drugs, how long before drones are dropping inmates guns.

  38. Louis Leonardo on October 15, 2021 at 9:13 am

    Can’t u just go drone hunting with a shotgun

  39. FBI on October 15, 2021 at 9:15 am

    The real question is what software and hardware are they running in order to detect the drones? Any answers!? 🤔

  40. Fucus Zullanti on October 15, 2021 at 9:16 am

    If you look closely at 2:24, those “Cell phone’s” are display phones with paper inside the screens. They aren’t real… Nice documentary, Vice 👌🏼

  41. Contest4Freedom on October 15, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Why not just make your own prison currency so it discontinues drug trafficking to your prison? US Dollars in exchange for Prison bucks

  42. bubakushog on October 15, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Even if they catch 5 of 10 drones it’s still worth it to order delivery,for tobacco they give you report for weed and other illegal stuff they can give extra charges and time

  43. didxnite Xx on October 15, 2021 at 9:19 am

    This is the first time I have heard about drones smuggling in shit to prison

  44. Wuqz on October 15, 2021 at 9:20 am

    The staff bring in most of the contraband. This whole drone things is probably just a cover up. Just put a net over the yard like every other prison. This complex system seems really unnecessary.

  45. Dave Smith on October 15, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Prison guards are the best way to get drugs..

  46. Maximus Imany on October 15, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Even if you catch them flying drone and donating tobacco and cellphone it’s hard to put as crime.

  47. Paul Neilson on October 15, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Soon we will hear of a drone prison escape.

  48. Liz Altman on October 15, 2021 at 9:27 am

    why would a drone smuggle peals? oh, pills. Got it.

  49. CizreK on October 15, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Any smugglers reading these comments just use potato launchers breh.

  50. Jarrod Yuki on October 15, 2021 at 9:28 am

    tier layered deterrence for bad behavior.

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