Suspects use drone to drop drugs, cell phone into Michigan prison

- Three people were arrested Thursday morning for using a drone to drop contraband into a correctional facility in Michigan.

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 around 4 a.m., according to Michigan Department of Transportation public information officer Chris Gautz.

As they investigated the noise, they saw a drone drop a package near a housing unit. The officers enlisted additional staff for backup and went to area where the first package was dropped as a second package fell from the sky.

MDOC officers contacted local police, who found and arrested three suspects in a vehicle near the prison.

"Drones present a serious and constant threat to our prisons across the state. Our staff remains vigilant in their efforts to keep dangerous contraband from entering our facilities in all manners," Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington said in a release.

MDOC said this is one of the first instances in the country in which suspects were arrested immediately after introducing contraband into a prison.

"We will also continue our efforts to aid lawmakers in their efforts to strengthen laws regarding drones and their ability to introduce dangerous contraband into our prisons," Washington said.

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