A drone dropped a package of drugs into a prison yard at the Mansfield Correctional Institution. Inmates were outside in the yard, and the drop ignited a fight between several inmates.
The package contained almost a quarter of an ounce of heroin, over 2 ounces of marijuana and more than 5 ounces of tobacco. According to the department, video surveillance footage showed the drone over recreation yards immediately before a fight began.
Two corrections officers called for backup and ordered the inmates to stop fighting, according to the department. They used pepper spray to subdue the inmates and control the situation. All inmates had to be strip-searched before allowing them back in their cells. The nine people involved in the fight went to solitary confinement. No staff members or inmates sustained any injuries during this incident.
This is not the first time an Ohio prison has had an incident with unmanned aerial vehicles, according to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections spokeswoman JoEllen Smith. "It's something we're certainly aware of," Smith said. "We're taking a broad approach to increasing staff awareness and detection."
Ohio is not the only state where drones pose a security risks to prisons. Many states have had similar incidents, including when a drone carrying blades crashed in an Oklahoma prison and when a drone helped an inmate escape maximum security prison in South Carolina.
As the use of drones to smuggle contraband over prison walls becomes more common, correctional facilities can prevent these security breaches by installing drone detection systems or other anti drone technologies.