Maryland inmate convicted of trying to fly drugs to prison with drone

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 17, 2016 5:36 PM

(Reuters) - A Maryland inmate serving a life term for murder was convicted on Thursday of conspiring with two other men to use a drone to smuggle drugs and pornography into prison.

Charles Brooks, 43, was sentenced to 13 years after an Allegany County jury convicted him on two counts of conspiracy and two counts of possessing contraband with intent to distribute, according to court records.

Brooks is serving a life sentence for conspiracy to commit murder.

Thaddeus Shortz, 25, of Knoxville, and Keith Brian Russell, 30, of Silver Spring, were convicted last year. They were arrested in August 2015 parked outside the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland.

Police seized pornographic video discs, tobacco, a loaded handgun, illegal drugs and the drone.

In July, a drone dropped a package of heroin, marijuana and tobacco in the recreation yard of an Ohio prison, sparking a fight.

A drone was used in 2014 to try to smuggle phones, marijuana and tobacco into a South Carolina prison, but it crashed outside the walls.

(Reporting by John Clarke in Washington; Editing by Ian Simpson and Dan Grebler)