April 3, 2019 4:51 pm
Updated: April 3, 2019 5:43 pm

Drone, $86K in drugs and cellphones seized at B.C. maximum-security prison: CSC

Corrections officers in B.C. say more than $86,000 in contraband and a drone were seized at the perimeter of of a maximum security prison last month.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Seth Wenig, File
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Officials seized a drone along with more than $86,000 in contraband at B.C.’s only maximum-security prison last month, according to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).

The CSC says it made the seizure on March 25 at the perimeter of the Kent Institution.

Along with the drone, officials seized a “ceramic edged weapon,” two mini cellphones with chargers and a full-sized cellphone with four SIM cards and a charger.

READ MORE: Someone used a drone to drop $26,500 of drugs, tobacco over a B.C. prison wall

They also seized a sizable quantity of drugs. The CSC said the package included 200 tablets of steroids, 50 tablets of estrogen reducer, 108 grams of amphetamines, 61 grams of THC concentrate and almost 29 grams of heroin.

WATCH: Contraband smuggling using drones increasing at Kingston area prisons


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The Kent Institution, located near Agassiz in the Fraser Valley, has a capacity of 378 inmates and is the only maximum-security facility in the CSC’s Pacific region.

The CSC said police have been notified and that the institution is investigating.

READ MORE: Drone seized, two arrested near Montreal prison

“CSC is heightening measures to prevent contraband from entering its institutions in order to help ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone,” said the CSC in a media release.

“CSC also works in partnership with the police to take action against those who attempt to introduce contraband into correctional institutions.”

WATCH: Drone seized as two arrested near Montreal prison

Last year, the CSC seized about $26,500 worth of drugs and tobacco that was successfully dropped over the wall of B.C.’s Matsqui Institution.

Two men were also arrested with contraband after flying a drone outside a Montreal prison last month.

READ MORE: Correctional officials raise concern over drones smuggling contraband into Kingston-area prisons

The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers is raising concerns about the growing number of attempted contraband drone deliveries.

Union president Jason Godin told Global News that corrections officers are seeing four to five attempted drops per week, and said as drone payloads grow, so too does the risk.

“They’re getting cheaper and cheaper, they’re certainly very accessible, so weapons [are?] getting in … we’ve even had attempts of handguns trying to be smuggled in,” he said.

WATCH (January 2018): Drone drops drugs in Abbotsford prison

Godin added that improved technology now allows pilots to virtually pinpoint drops at inmates’ cells.

The union is calling on the CSC to fast-track pilot anti-drone projects with technologies such as jammers and trackers.

“It’s our hope that we’re not sitting on a pilot project for a great length of time, we need to start opening up and trying different technologies at different sites, and we can’t sit back and wait any longer,” Godin said.

 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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