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Investigative Task Force Intercepts Suspected Drone Prison Contraband Delivery

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TOWSON, MD — Correctional staff and detectives from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) and members of the Cumberland Combined Investigative task force (C3I) have foiled what is believed to be the first case of a drone being used to deliver contraband into a Maryland prison.

Saturday night, officers from Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland (WCI) spotted a vehicle along Hazmat Drive, a side road that runs off U.S. 220 alongside the state prison complex at Cresaptown.

Responding law enforcement found a drone, a handgun, and contraband inside, and arrested both occupants of the vehicle.

The vehicle’s owner had been under surveillance for some time, as intelligence officers from WCI and detectives from the Intelligence and Investigative unit of DPSCS suspected them, along with at least one inmate, of plotting to use the unmanned drone to drop contraband at WCI.

After the arrest of the vehicle’s occupants, correctional staff searched the cell of the inmate suspect, and, finding contraband, prepared to file charges against him as well.

The two men inside the drone-carrying vehicle are being held in Cumberland, one on no bail, the other on $250,000 bail.

Commenting on the interception of the drone and subsequent arrest of two suspects, Governor Larry Hogan said, “I commend the members of the investigative task force as well as the dedicated correctional employees who assisted in this investigation.  Keeping our prisons safe and free of contraband will always be a priority of our administration and I am confident Secretary Moyer and all of our law enforcement agencies will continue doing everything possible to ensure this happens”.

“This is an excellent law enforcement and correctional partnership,” said Stephen T. Moyer, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Public safety and Correctional Services. “Thanks to outstanding intelligence and detective work, we were able to keep out contraband that fuels violence and threatens the safety of the public, our employees, and the inmates.”

Added Maryland State Police Superintendent William Pallozzi: “The work by State Police, DPSCS, Allegany County Sheriff’s  Office, and Cumberland Police was thorough, and prevented what we believe would have been a dangerous and significant contraband delivery.”