First Quadcopter Pilot Jailed for Smuggling Drugs into Prison

First Quadcopter Pilot Jailed for Smuggling Drugs into Prison

When it comes to drones, they keep popping up in the news for all kinds of reasons. From people attaching chainsaws and guns to the remote controlled vehicles to the devices being used to photograph dangerous areas, albeit to the hindrance of emergency services during forest fires. Now a man in the UK has been charged with using the drone to navigate and deliver banned items to prisoners in jail.

Daniel Kelly has been sentenced to 14 months in jail following his use of a quadcopter to deliver “spice” and tobacco to inmates on not just one but many occasions. Kent Police is aware of four successful occasions at HMP Elmley, HMP Swleside and twice at HMP Mount. The police are also aware of two unsuccessful flights in London over HMP Wandsworth.

Kelly’s drone was spray painted black with tape covering the drones lights. Detective Constable Mark Silk stated that “Kelly’s offending was serious. Psychoactive substances and tobacco have an inflated value in prison and this can lead to offenses being committed within. This places inmates and prison staff at risk.”

As the first of its kind ruling in the UK, Kelly’s sentencing could set a precedent for the use of drones in illegal activities with several similar actions reported with UAV’s flying in or around prison areas.


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