By Heide Brandes
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - A drone carrying mobile phones, drugs, hacksaw blades and other material dangling in a bundle from a fishing line crashed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester before inmates could grab the contraband, prison officials said on Tuesday.
The drone clipped razor wire on prison walls on Monday and lost control before crashing into prison grounds in what the officials said was the first attempt in the state to smuggle material into a prison with an unmanned aerial vehicle.
The package contained two hacksaw blades, a mobile phone, a mobile phone battery, a hands-free device, two packages of cigarettes, two packs of cigars, super glue, a 5.3-ounce bag of marijuana, a 0.8 ounce bag of methamphetamine and a bag of heroin weighing less than one gram.
"I applaud and commend the quick action and diligence on the part of the staff who noticed the UAV that entered the prison grounds,” said Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton. McAlester is about 130 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.
Similar attempts to smuggle contraband by drones have taken place at prisons in other U.S. states.
In August, a drone dropped a package of heroin, marijuana and tobacco in the recreation yard of an Ohio prison, sparking a fight among inmates trying to pick up the contraband.
Last year, a drone was used to try to smuggle phones, marijuana and tobacco into a South Carolina maximum security prison, but it crashed outside the facility's walls.
The drone in the Oklahoma incident has been turned over to the Department of Correction's office of the Inspector General for further investigation. No arrests have been made.
(Reporting by Heide Brandes; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)