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Texas man allegedly used drone to drop contraband items into prison complex

Prison bars
Posted at 5:32 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 18:32:42-04

A Texas man has been indicted after he allegedly attempted to use a drone to drop contraband items into a prison complex.

The U.S. Attorney's office said 44-year-old Davien Phillip Turner was indicted for federal violations last week, he is charged with "operating a drone that is not registered and serving or attempting to serve as an airman without an airman’s certificate," said the U.S. Attorney's office.

According to court documents, on May 19 Jefferson County officials were alerted that a man was operating a drone on the property of the Federal Correctional Complex in Beaumont.

"Law enforcement officials responded and eventually found Turner in the area where the drone was being operated," said the release. "Near Turner, officers discovered a DJI Matrice 600 Pro Drone. Law enforcement officers also discovered several bags near the drone that Turner allegedly was going to drop into the prison complex via the drone."

Inside the bags were tobacco, cell phones, cell phone chargers, various tools, vape pens, and other items, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

"Those items were to be sold by inmates within the prison. Under federal law, this type of drone was required to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, and Turner had failed to do so," said the release. "Furthermore, to operate a drone under these circumstances, a certificate was needed, which Turner also had not obtained."

If Turner is convicted he faces up to three years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's office; and a fine of up to $250,000.