Drone drops heroin and other drugs into prison yard, fight ensues

alphabet project wing drone delivery
Slavoljub Pantelic / Shutterstock
It’s not the first time a drone’s been used to drop contraband into a prison yard and you can bet your payload-ready DJI Phantom 3 Professional quadcopter it won’t be the last.

The latest incident, which as you’ll discover caused quite a ruckus among the inmates, took place at the at the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Ohio last week.

The special delivery, which came down in the prison yard, contained 144.5 grams of tobacco, 65.4 grams of marijuana, and 6.6 grams of heroin, JoEllen Smith, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, told the Mansfield News Journal.

The excitement of seeing a quadcopter buzzing over the prison fence carrying a bunch of mind-altering goodies reportedly caused a fight to break out among around nine of the 75 prisoners who were in the yard at the time. Fearing that the rumble could get out of control, officers used pepper spray to restore order. No prisoners or staff were seriously injured in the episode, the facility confirmed.

Video footage of the incident taken by prison cameras showed the drone dropping a package into the exercise yard, at which point things turned ugly. Officers believe the consignment was meant for a single inmate, though there’s no word on whether they managed to identify either that inmate or the operator of the drug-carrying flying machine.

The Mansfield post of the Ohio Highway Patrol has recently increased efforts to nab people throwing contraband to inmates over the prison fence, though by the looks of it they’ll now have to add shifty-looking drone operators to the list.

Using drones to get contraband to inmates could become a growing problem for prison guards now that the technology is advanced enough and relatively affordable – and it sure beats using cats, which can be unreliable at the best of times.

Earlier prison-related drone incidents include a failed attempt last year to get drugs into the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, South Carolina. Whoever was operating it clearly lacked the necessary flying skills as the machine smashed into the prison wall before it could reach the prisoners. Several other similar incidents in the U.S. and Canada have also been reported in recent years.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Dublin Airport has a novel idea for tackling rogue drones

There are a growing number of technology-based solutions for dealing with rogue drones flying near airports, but officials at Dublin Airport have come up with another idea for keeping the skies safe.
Smart Home

Your Instant Pot can do it all. Research says it has another important function

Researchers at Dakota State University tested a variety of pressure cookers for sterilization and found that Instant Pot provides enough pressure and heat to kill off food-spoiling bacteria.
Emerging Tech

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

Researchers from the SETI Institute and Astrobotic Technology have demonstrated a way that astronauts may be able to map Martian caves using a Lidar-equipped drone that can travel autonomously without GPS.
Emerging Tech

A 3D printer the size of a small barn will produce entire homes in Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking for a 3D printer that can comfortably fit on the side of your desk… well, Danish company Cobod International’s enormous new 3D house printer probably isn’t for you.
Deals

Need a ride? Amazon is slashing prices on popular electric scooters

If you’re not much of a cyclist or if you’re looking for a lazier way to zip about town, an electric scooter should be right up your alley. Two of our favorites, the foldable Glion Dolly and the eco-friendly Razor scooter, are on sale…
Emerging Tech

Unexpected particle plumes discovered jetting out of asteroid Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx craft traveled to asteroid Bennu last year and won't return until 2023. But the mission is already throwing up unexpected findings, like plumes of particles which are being ejected from the surface of the asteroid.
Emerging Tech

Trip to Neptune’s moon, Triton, could inform search for extraterrestrial life

NASA has proposed sending a craft to Neptune to study its largest moon, Triton. Studying Triton could offer clues to how liquid water is maintained on planets, which may indicate what to look for when searching for life beyond our planet.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover passes its tests with flying colors

The Mars 2020 rover team has been undertaking a series of tests to see if the craft will be able to launch, navigate, and land on the Red Planet. Called Systems Test 1, or ST1, these tests represent the first test drive of the new rover.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Petzl to Tikkid, here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

A hive of activity: Using honeybees to measure urban pollution

According to a new study from Vancouver, bees could help us understand urban pollution. Scientists have found an innovative way to measure the level of source of pollution in urban environments: by analyzing honey.
Emerging Tech

Spacewalk a success as astronauts upgrade batteries on the ISS

The International Space Station was treated to some new batteries on Friday, thanks to two NASA astronauts who took a spacewalk for nearly seven hours in order to complete the upgrades.
Emerging Tech

Asteroid Ryugu is porous, shaped like a spinning top, and is formed of rubble

The Japanese Space Agency has been exploring a distant asteroid named Ryugu with its probe, Hayabusa 2. Now the first results from study of the asteroid are in, with three new papers published.
Emerging Tech

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a super-speedy pulsar

A super-speedy pulsar has been spotted dashing across the sky, discovered using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Very Large Array. The pulsar is traveling at a breathtaking 2.5 million miles an hour.