The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is investigating after someone used a drone to drop drugs and tobacco over the wall of a B.C. prison.
On Dec. 23, 2017, at about 10 p.m. vigilant staff members noticed a package was dropped by a drone at Matsqui Institution, a medium security federal institution in Abbotsford.
The estimated value of the drugs and tobacco is $26,500.
No smoking has been allowed in all federal correctional institutions since 2008.
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Tyler McDougall, a drone pilot and lead technician at Candrone in Burnaby says a drone that costs about $4,000 would have the ability to lift drugs or a gun over a high wall and into a prison.
“With any kind of new, evolving technology there’s always going to be people that use it for bad,” he adds. “Obviously it’s a technology that’s evolving very quickly, it’s being used for a lot of good things, for search and rescue, for film, all that kind of stuff,” he says.
“But with any technology that’s growing you’re going to have people that’s going to use it for not good things.”
McDougall says the top drone on the market can carry about 20 pounds of weight.
“Typically the ones that carry more weight don’t have as much of an operating range, just due to the technology that’s going to them, some of the medium-class ones will have more range,” he explains. “Signal capability with the remote can be up to five to seven kilometres.”
The CSC says it uses a number of tools to prevent drugs from entering its institutions and is taking more measures to prevent contraband from entering the prison system.
If anyone has any information about drug use or trafficking in federal institutions, the CSC has set up a tip line at 1‑866‑780‑3784.