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Contraband Deliveries being Battled by Prisons

Seventy grams of marijuana were almost dropped from the sky into a Lowcountry jail yard. A lady was recently detained for attempting to bring Contraband into the Ridgeland Correctional Institution, including drugs and phones. The twist was that she planned to fly them in via drone, which the South Carolina Department of Corrections said is a fairly frequent approach. “Once or twice a week, we get a drone incursion notice at one of our 21 correctional facilities in South Carolina,” said South Carolina Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling.

Many of those drones, like this one, are intercepted before they can deliver their cargo. In this situation, Director Stirling is happy of a successful collaboration in Ridgeland that prevented the machine from even getting started. Our investigations branch did an excellent job of becoming involved in that work and conducting an undercover operation with outside law enforcement to prevent the Contraband from entering the country.

He claims that if they hadn’t, deliveries like this would be deadly. Contraband can lead to turf battles, clashes, bloodshed, and deaths, all of which we wish to avoid. These nets were installed to make illegal deliveries more difficult, but drones may fly well above them, pushing SCDC to seek alternate protection. However, Stirling claims that they are unable to use their best alternative due to decades-old regulations.

Interfering with a radio frequency is illegal, and that is exactly what drones do. Interfering with a radio frequency is illegal, and that is exactly what drones do. Similarly, the Communications Act of 1932 prohibits interfering with a radio frequency on a phone, which is why we are unable to block or jam these signals.

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