National News

Prison officials: Drone used to drop cell phone, drugs into prison

Posted August 17

— Three people have been arrested, accused of trying to use a drone to drop a cell phone and drugs into a Michigan prison.

Shortly before 4 a.m. on Thursday, August 17, two corrections officers at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia heard the sound of a drone in the yard area inside the prison.

When they investigated, a drone dropped a package near a housing unit.

The drone then returned to the area where corrections officers had gathered and dropped an additional package near the same area.

Staff at the prison called local law enforcement who were able to stop a vehicle that was near the prison and had three people inside.

The Michigan State Police is helping prison staff conduct a thorough search of the facility grounds, and surrounding areas, following the incident.

"Drones present a serious and constant threat to our prisons across the state. Our staff remain vigilant in their efforts to keep dangerous contraband from entering our facilities in all manners," Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington said. "I am proud of the prompt and professional response of our staff and for the support and coordination with local law enforcement and the Michigan State Police to apprehend these individuals. Together, their actions kept not only our facility, staff and prisoners safe, but the surrounding community as well."

The names of those arrested have not been released.

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