A Maryland inmate serving a life sentence for conspiracy to commit murder was convicted again on Thursday of conspiring with two other men to use a drone to smuggle drugs and pornography into prison.
Charles Brooks, 43, was sentenced to 13 years after an Allegany County jury convicted him on two counts of conspiracy and two counts of possessing contraband with intent to distribute, according to court records.
Thaddeus Shortz, 25, of Knoxville, and Keith Brian Russell, 30, of Silver Spring, were convicted last year.
They were arrested in August 2015 parked outside the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland.
Police seized pornographic video discs, tobacco, a loaded handgun, illegal drugs, and the drone.
This is not the first instance of someone trying to smuggle drugs into prison with a drone, nor is it the most ambitious attempt.
In July, a drone dropped a package of heroin, marijuana, and tobacco in the recreation yard of an Ohio prison, sparking a fight.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections/Handouts
A drone carrying cellphones, drugs, hacksaw blades, and other material that dangled in a bundle from a fishing line crashed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, before inmates could seize the contraband, prison officials said on October 27, 2015, according to Reuters.
A drone was used in 2014 to try to smuggle phones, marijuana and tobacco into a South Carolina prison, but it crashed outside the walls.
Drugs have also been put into service ferrying illegal narcotics across international borders.
In September 2015, a 26-pound bundle of marijuana, possibly carried by a drone or an ultralight aircraft, crashed through a homein Nogales, near the Mexican border.
"It's all right on top of our dog's house," said the homeowner. "It just made a perfectly round hole through our carport."
The Mexican government has issued warnings about traffickers smuggling large quantities of cocaine with drone aircraft, and experts have said that cartels are likely to pursue drones to augment their expansive smuggling efforts.
"Cartels are adaptive in their use of technology," Peter Singer, a UAV expert, told Vice in 2014. "They will match new means to their old ends."
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A Colombian woman was just busted smuggling cocaine into Germany in her breasts
A man used a cross-border underwater tunnel and scuba equipment to smuggle 55 pounds of cocaine into the US