Drug smuggling by drone investigated in West Virginia prison

Chris Carlson / Associated Press

 As part of an investigation into the alleged introduction of drugs into a federal prison in West Virginia via drones, eleven arrests have been made. Authorities reported that there was also an individual under investigation who, after fleeing, was found deceased. 

McDowell County Sheriff James Muncy revealed that they received a request for assistance from the Welch Correctional Institution in November due to the increased drone activities in the area. 

The arrests took place between mid-December and early February, with charges including the introduction or attempted introduction of contraband into a correctional facility, possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, illegal use of drones, terrorist acts, and conspiracy. 

The type of drugs presumed to have been introduced is not specified, and it is unclear whether the arrested individuals are inmates. Additionally, a man sought in the investigation was found dead after fleeing on foot when the police were searching for him on February 9. 

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Most of the arrested suspects are currently held at the Southwestern Regional Jail in Holden, although it is not mentioned whether they have lawyers who can comment on the charges.