UK & World News

  • 26 June 2014, 2:03

Drug-Smuggling Drone Crashes Into Dublin Prison

A helicopter drone being used to try to smuggle drugs into a jail has crash-landed in the prison exercise yard.

The "sophisticated" remote-controlled device, which was fitted with a camera, came down after it hit special netting at Wheatfield Prison in west Dublin.

The wire had been put in place to prevent full-size helicopters from landing and helping prisoners to escape.

The incident happened at 11am on Tuesday when prison staff noticed an object crashing from above.

It is not known what quantity of drugs the four-rotor drone was carrying but a prison source said: "This isn't a toy.

"It was a high spec drone with a high spec camera through which the operators could monitor the route it was taking.

"They wouldn't have intended to land it in the prison, just hover over it until the inmates got their hands on the contraband."

A source told Sky News the drugs were on a rope that was attached to the drone, known as a quadcopter and valued at around 1,600.

Inmates, who were apparently expecting the device, ran towards it and the alleged ringleader apparently put some of the drugs inside his body.

He is currently in isolation at the jail and is under observation until the substances come out of his body naturally.

The source told Sky that 20 prisoners had been isolated and were facing possible disciplinary action.

He said the "unique attempt" showed "the lengths people will go to smuggle contraband into prison".

Police are said to be hunting the drone's pilots, who were thought to be controlling it from nearby and had earlier done a trial run.

The device has now been seized by prison staff.

A Gardai spokeswoman told Sky News: "Gardai in Ronanstown can confirm that they were alerted to an incident at Wheatfield Prison at approximately 11am on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

"Gardai were handed a device from the Prison Service staff and the matter is under investigation."

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