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Drones Used To Drop Drugs In Georgia Prisons, 150 Arrested

Officials arrested 150 people in Georgia and charged them in an elaborate drug- and contraband-smuggling scheme that involved using drones to deliver illicit drugs to prisons, USA Today reports. "Operation Skyhawk" was a monthslong investigation into a multi-state enterprise involving civilians, inmates and staff at Georgia Department of Corrections facilities, Gov. Brian Kemp announced. Eight department employees were among the arrested and were immediately fired. “Georgia will not tolerate those who put our communities at risk by trafficking drugs, weapons, and contraband both in and out of our correctional facilities,” Kemp said. Over 1,000 criminal charges for the suspects include contraband introduction, drug trafficking and felons in possession of firearms. Many of the suspects will also face charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and participation in criminal gang activity, "resulting in what will possibly be the largest Gang RICO in the state’s history," the state said.

The investigation revealed that drones were used to smuggle contraband including drugs, weapons and cell phones into prison facilities across Georgia. Law enforcement officers assisted by "making traffic stops and responding to throwovers and contraband drops via drone," officials said. Search and arrest warrants were issued Thursday, at two locations in the metro Atlanta area. Investigators have recovered over $7 million worth of evidence, including: 87 drones, 22 weapons, 273 contraband cell phones in facilities, 180 civilian cell phones, 185 pounds of tobacco, 67 pounds of marijuana, 12 pounds of methamphetamine, 51 pounds of ecstasy, 10 grams of cocaine and 90 various pills. Officials also warned that the enterprise likely operates in more states.


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