That's one way to sneak contraband inside.
Drone Striking Out
An Australian woman has pleaded guilty after being caught flying — and crashing — a drone filled with drugs and porn into a prison yard, with the intent to sell it inside.
As The Guardian reports, 27-year-old Cheyenne Anniki Petryszyn pleaded guilty to two counts related to bringing drugs into a correctional facility — $119,000 worth of drugs, Brisbane prosecutors said. She has not, it seems, faced or pleaded guilty to any charges related to the USB drive full of porn that was also aboard the drone she crashed into a Queensland prison yard.
The drone purportedly contained 79 strips of Buprenorphine, an opioid painkiller, as well as nearly one gram of meth and, of course, the porn thumb drive. This wasn't Petryszyn's first rodeo attempting to sell drugs in prison, either — back in 2018, she was caught selling strips of Subutex, another opioid, while serving a sentence related to drug trafficking. She was, as The Guardian notes, on parole for drug charges when she was caught in the drone scheme.
As Wired reported last year, using drones to sneak contraband into prisons is on the rise around the world, with the US Department of Justice and Europe's Interpol attempting to crack down on the use of "unmanned aircraft" to sneak everything from drugs and cell phones to wire cutters and guns into correctional facilities around the world.
This brave new world of contraband smuggling is, as one expert told Wired, exposing the existential threats of prison guardianship itself.
"Since the time of castles and moats," Mary-Lou Smulders, the chief marketing officer of the counterdrone company Dedrone, told the magazine, "we’ve had to deal with two-dimensional perimeter protection. We built fences, we built moats, we put guards around the outside."
Drones, Smulders said, are a "new threat vector" for prisons "that a 10-year-old can pull out of the box and fly."
While the woes of prison guards don't compel much sympathy, it's still pretty horrendous to imagine people using drones to fly drugs and weapons into such places that are already full enough of violence, danger, and desolation
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