Drones, Kinder Eggs used to smuggle drugs into prisons

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Drugs are a major problem in Canadian jails and prison officials are struggling to keep contraband out, especially as smugglers find new and creative ways to sneak it in.

Last month, three Ontario inmates died in separate overdose incidents within the same week.

Recently, The Canadian Press reported how the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility is working on ways to keep drug-dropping drones out of its airspace. As recreational drones became readily available, Canadian laws haven’t kept up with the boom in popularity.

Even the popular Kinder Egg chocolates have been used by smugglers, who have made illegal drugs part of the hidden surprise.

In another case, painkillers were concealed in an envelope apparently from an inmate’s lawyer. Eagle-eyed guards got suspicious after noticing that “solicitor-client privilege” was misspelled on the envelope.

Last November, guards at Ontario’s Joyceville penitentiary made a hellacious bust, finding more than $200,000 in drugs and other contraband hidden in Bibles.

Drugs are sometimes sewn into clothes or hidden in food deliveries as well.

But it’s not always creative: one of the most common methods still involves a certain orifice (come on, don’t make us say it).

Being less invasive, less embarrassing and — since pilots can operate them from a safe distance — also pretty anonymous, drones are becoming a popular way to deliver drugs. It’s downright common in Quebec now, and many jails are working on ways to protect their airspace.

Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, prison officials are playing their cards close to their chest and anti-drone details are few and far between.

Some possible measures include sound sensors that lock on to the noise from a drone’s whirring blades, Wi-Fi frequency detectors and infrared cameras. Anti-aircraft guns probably aren’t coming, but perhaps we can look forward to some drone dogfights.

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