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Police capture drones carrying pot, guns and, um, porn DVDs to jail

Technically Incorrect: In Maryland, law enforcement arrests two men who were allegedly planning to drop all sorts of contraband into jails.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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The seized drone. State of Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services

If you want someone in jail to have a gun or drugs, your possibilities are becoming narrower.

Authorities seem wiser to the notion of guns and drugs hidden in gifts passed over a chilly table.

That's why some around the world thought cat delivery would be a fine method. However, the cats kept getting caught. What to do but leap on the idea of drones?

Last year, we began hearing about attempted smuggling-by-drone into our correctional facilities. This year, the stories abound.

The latest, however, has a fascinating kink or two. As the Baltimore Sun reports, authorities say they arrested two men hovering outside the Western Correctional Institution and the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland on Saturday night. Their intention, so law enforcement says, was to fly a Yuneec Typhoon drone into local jails.

The drone was to be equipped with such care packages as guns, synthetic marijuana and natural tobacco, authorities said.

Maryland authorities weren't immediately available for comment. However, Stephen T. Moyer, the state's secretary of Public Safety & Correctional Services, said at a press conference on Monday: "You can't make this stuff up."

Well, you can. It wouldn't, perhaps be quite so fascinating. It seems that authorities had been investigating the arrested men -- Thaddeus Shortz and Keith Brian Russell -- and their alleged relationship with an inmate for some time.

However, one of the other things they were allegedly going to fly in to the jails were pornographic DVDs. Which leaves one question: how could a prisoner watch a porn DVD in jail without being spotted?

This may, of course, be a naive question, but one imagines that it wouldn't be entirely easy to hide not only the discs themselves, but also the reaction to them.

In a press release, Moyer said: "We were able to keep out contraband that fuels violence and threatens the safety of the public, our employees, and the inmates." Porn DVDs fuel violence and threaten safety?

This surely isn't the last attempt to use drones to make such drops. Moyer claimed that drone-detecting technology costs between $350,000 to $400,000 per prison.

Perhaps he hasn't heard of new bullets that have just been released by Snake River Shooting Products. These are allegedly perfect anti-drone missiles. So much cheaper, too.

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The contraband. See, DVDs. State of Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services