Package Filled With Drugs, Tobacco Meant for Prison Dropped Onto School Grounds by Drone

A package containing tobacco and marijuana recently dropped from a drone and onto a school was actually intended for a Virginia prison, according to police.

The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office in Virginia said that on Monday, at approximately 8:24 a.m., local time, it received a call from the Brunswick Academy, who said that "a suspicious package was on school grounds."

In a press release posted to Facebook, the sheriff's office said an investigation revealed the package was dropped by a drone at around 5:40 a.m., as a witness informed police that they noticed a drone land on the school grounds at that time.

According to police, the witness said that shortly after the drone landed on the school grounds, they noticed a "small dark colored sedan come into the parking lot of the school and grab the drone."

When the package was brought over to the sheriff's office, authorities said it contained "several lbs. of marijuana and tobacco and also included three cellphones and a USB-C to lightning converter."

Based on its investigation into the incident, the sheriff's office believed that the package "was intended to be dropped at the adjacent property of the Lawrenceville Correctional Center which is operated by a private company named The GEO Group."

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While speaking with Newsweek, Brunswick County Sheriff Brian Roberts said that since the package was dropped outside of the correctional facility, the sheriff's office was called to help with the investigation. Roberts noted that correctional facility has had "dozens" of similar incidents involving drones in the past, but the sheriff's office is only notified if the incident occurs outside of the prison grounds.

Roberts speculated that the drone may have experienced some type of "mechanical issue," which led to its landing on school grounds with the package.

"It's like something you would see in Hollywood, like watching one of these sitcoms or one of these prison movies, and you see that and think 'well, that's not reality,'" Roberts also told WRIC in Virginia.

According to Roberts, the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office has turned the investigation over to the Virginia Department of Corrections Drug Task Force.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, a spokesperson for the GEO Group said: "Like many correctional facilities across the country, the Lawrenceville Correctional Center faces challenges related to the use of drones for the introduction of contraband into correctional settings.

"We are committed to working with the Virginia Department of Corrections and local law enforcement to address the challenges related to the introduction of contraband using drones," the statement continued.

Drone
A drone recently dropped a package containing drugs and tobacco on school grounds and police say it was intended for a Virginia prison. Above, a drone is flown for recreational purposes in the sky above Old Bethpage, New York on August 30, 2015. Bruce Bennett/Getty