In the early morning of August 2nd, Warden Beasley of Smith State Prison (SP) and agents from the Southeast Region Office of Professional Standards (OPS) were leaving the prison premises. During their exit, they noticed a drone in the vicinity. The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) agents tracked the drone’s path, eventually leading them to a nearby residence. At this location, they witnessed the drone crash into the roof of the residence.

At the residence, GDC Agents encountered four individuals, who were taken into custody and transported to the Tattnal County Sheriff’s Office.

Agents discovered parolee Moses Echols inside a vehicle in the residence’s yard with a drone in the back seat. Another individual, Jaime Dean, was also found in the yard, sitting in a separate vehicle. Notably, a sizable package was observed resting on the passenger floorboard of Dean’s vehicle. Further investigation revealed a third individual, Dannaye Walker, lying on the ground in a grassy area of the property. Near Walker, yet another drone and its controller were discovered. Sameerah Adams was also taken into custody as part of the investigation.

A search warrant was obtained for both the property and the residence. The search yielded additional items that align with those commonly employed to facilitate the illicit introduction of contraband into state prisons.

“As we continue to remain diligent at preventing contraband from entering our facilities, our most important weapon in this fight remains our committed, dedicated staff,” said Commissioner Tyrone Oliver. “I am extremely confident and proud of our Officers, facility leadership, Agents, and other staff who work around the clock to find and remove these items and we will continue to hold those who break the law accountable for their actions and work to bring justice to those who pose a threat to the safety of the public and to the safe operations of our prisons.”

Various items were confiscated from both the individuals and the vehicles, all of which are in line with materials typically employed to aid the unauthorized entry of contraband into Georgia state prison facilities. Additionally, packaged items that were recognized as contraband and intended for transport beyond the GDC’s guard lines were also identified and seized. Items seized include the following:

  • 1508 grams marijuana
  • 10,100 grams tobacco
  • 3 drones
  • 4 drone controllers
  • 1 loaded Taurus .357 magnum handgun
  • 1 loaded .9 mm SCCY handgun
  • 2 digital scales
  • 6 cell phones
  • 1 hotspot
  • 10 rolls tape
  • 4 vacuum sealer rolls
  • 1 box black & milds
  • 2 black duffel bags
  • 1 gas mask
  • 5 cellphone chargers
  • 1 tube of superglue
  • 12 large magnets
  • 10 USB cords
  • 2 SD cards
  • 2 vacuum sealers
  • 3 footballs
  • 16 charging blocks

(Press Release)

C-UAS Hub Prison-Related Resources:

Agent-Based Modeling for Low-cost Counter-UAS Protocol in Prisons

Contraband Detection Technology for Prisons

Contraband and Drones in Correctional Facilities

Post Image- Photograph of items seized during the attempted delivery of contraband into the Smith State Prison (Image Credit: Georgia Department of Corrections)