For the First Time, Someone's Been Jailed for Using Drones to Smuggle Goods Into Prisons

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Daniel Kelly, you’ve gone down in history. The 37-year-old has become the first person in the UK to be convicted for using a drone to smuggle naughty stuff into prisons.

Kelly was caught on April 25th, after officers spotted him running to his car, which had been parked near HMP Swaleside, and speeding off. The vehicle was later found at a holiday park with a drone in the boot.

Kelly had spray-painted the flying contraption black and taped over its lights, and the drone’s storage drive showed that it had made four flights to HMP Elmley, HMP Swaleside and HMP The Mount over the course of five days.

He was subsequently found to have been smuggling tobacco and the synthetic cannabinoid known as Spice, and has now been jailed for 14 months for conspiracy to project an article into prison. The offence was only introduced in November, when it became clear that consumer drones were perfect for the job.

"As with all new offences, investigating this presented challenges that we have not come across before but the officers were able to corroborate all of the evidence and secure a conviction in a relatively short space of time," said Detective Sergeant Richard Allingham, the senior investigating officer.

Criminals of the world, how creative can you get? [Standard]