Autonomous flying machines, more commonly referred to as drones have lately been employed to deliver multiple types of products ranging from pizzas to products ordered online. But it must have been indeed strange to see a drone attempting to cross the walls of a correctional facility to deliver contraband to the inmates.
Jail authorities were less than amused when they witnessed a drone attempting to deliver drugs into their prison. Surprisingly, the drone did manage to make the door-step delivery as was promised and landed in the prison exercise yard. The Wheatfield prisoners who had been waiting for the battery-powered drone, thought to cost around £1600 (US$ 2500), grabbed the drugs when it landed at around 11am on Tuesday, reported Irish Independent.
Complete with four rotor blades for superb maneuverability and a mounted video camera, the quadcopter was flown into the yard of Wheatfield Prison where it was met by inmates who ripped the drugs off and ran. One of the inmates who had requested the 'special delivery' scurried to the spot and managed to consume whole packets of drugs. Though all are now in solitary confinement, guards are monitoring this special one and waiting for the drug packets to be passed out.
The plan was a neat success, but failed when the delivery-drone tried to return. Just when the prisoners thought the plan had succeeded, the drone was spotted by eagle-eyed wardens who tried to catch the remote-controlled craft as it took off. The sophisticated remote-controlled device, which was fitted with a camera, came down after it hit special netting at Wheatfield Prison in west Dublin, reported Daily Mail.
The wires were fitted long ago to prevent life-size helicopters from springing prisoners, but came in handy to thwart an otherwise successful prison delivery service. The drone was never meant to actually land inside the prison compound, but hover a few feet above the ground till the inmates could untie the drugs secured to it. Apparently, the delivery service, now being hunted by the police had neatly tied the drugs with rope to the drone.
Delivery by drones has recently become a reality. With advanced GPS navigation built-in, these autonomous miniature flying machines can easily maneuver themselves and reach the destination while flying 3-to-5 stories high. Fitted with four rotors, these drones have exceptional freedom of movement and can easily navigate tight spaces.
The whole incident proves that prisoners can go to any lengths to bring in banned substances within the jail's confines. However, in a twist of irony, the drone recovered is said to have contained a memory module that would help authorities nab the delivery service.
[Image Credit | AP, Collins Dublin]