Fentanyl-laced meth and phones seized after second prison drone drop

A pre-Christmas drone drop was followed by a second incident in Abbotsford on Dec. 30

A second drone delivery of drugs made its way to prisoners at Matsqui Institution in late December before guards swooped in and seized fentanyl-laced methamphetamine and two cell phones,

Gordon Tanner, the assistant warden managment services at the Abbotsford prison, told The News a drone delivered contraband on Dec. 30, a week after guards had intercepted a drop-off of hash butter and tobacco.

Tanner said the second delivery was detected by closed circuit television cameras, and that staff then were able to watch as inmates picked up the contraband. Guards eventually connected seven different inmates with the contraband, which Tanner said was methamphetamine laced with fentanyl and valued at $12,162. Two cellphones, one of which was believed to have been dropped off by the drone, were also seized.

Tanner said it’s believed the cellphones were used to co-ordinate the deliveries.

Last week, the prison announced that, on Dec. 23, guards had intercepted a package containing more than $26,000 worth of contraband – hash butter and tobacco – that had been dropped off by a drone.

Tanner said the arrival of that drone had first been detected by guards as it flew high above the prison.

“They could hardly see it, but they could hear it first,” he said. The guards then watched as the drone landed, left its package, and flew off.

Tanner said the urban surroundings of the prison makes it almost impossible to find the drone or its operator. He said any suspicious circumstances should be reported either to the Abbotsford Police, or to corrections’ tip line, at 1-866-780-3784. Callers to the tip line remain anonymous.

The prison is also limited in what technology it can use to hinder drones by both federal rules and by Matsqui Institution’s location in a urban area near residential neighbourhoods.

Matsqui Institution isn’t alone in finding itself challenged by the prevalence of drones. A CTV story from last February reported that drones were increasingly being spotted around prisons in Quebec and that two had been seized in 2016

Tanner said the prison is doing what it can to prevent future drops.

“You definitely step up your vigilence, your patrols in the yard,” he said. “We’re restricting times the yard can be used and making sure a tower is up.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

B.C. BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

VIDEO: Vaudeville variety show in Errington kicks off

Raunchy comedy, impressive singing, sultry dances and more feature in show

UBCO students to get medical cannabis coverage

Kelowna - The pilot project will be implemented in April

BC BUDGET: NDP push for purpose-built rentals in ‘historic’ $1.6B investment

Hundreds of thousands of new low- and middle-income units coming over three years

B.C. BUDGET: More for wildfire recovery, campsites

NDP government to hire 20 more Conservation Officers this year

B.C. BUDGET: Surpluses predicted for three years

Tax revenues up, ICBC losses weigh heavily on provincial books

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

Parts of B.C. see record-breaking temperatures in cold snap

Sechelt, Yoho National Park were the chilliest ever Monday

Claim dimissed against RCMP over 2008 B.C. woman’s murder

Mother of Lisa Dudley, shot in her home along with her partner, had alleged negligence

Most Read