A former corrections officer faces allegations of attempting to use a drone to deliver drugs to a Lawton, Oklahoma, prison. A felony arrest warrant for Willie Foster, Jr., was issued from the Comanche County District Court. Records show that Foster is charged with conspiring to introduce contraband into a prison, attempting to smuggle drugs into a penal institution, and unauthorized entry into a jail or prison. The Lawton Constitution initially reported this story.

According to the affidavit, the investigation began around 4:30 a.m. on July 15th when a drone was detected near the Lawton Correction Facility. According to investigators who reviewed the flight path of the drone, the drone stopped at the beginning of a “no-fly zone” that existed over the prison. This suggests that the drone was a DJI drone that encountered the “Restricted Zone” or “Authorization Zone” around the facility. Although these no-fly zones inhibit flights, they can be easily overcome by receiving permission to fly from DJI, using known software or hardware hacks, or using non-DJI drones for the flights.

The same drone detected on July 15th was again detected on July 22nd. Oklahoma Department of Corrections agents were dispatched to the launch area of the drone where a vehicle and Foster were found.  After initially attempting to drive away, Foster said he’d been airing up a flat tire and provided misleading answers to various questions from the agents.

Agents observed a paper sack in the vehicle that contained loose grass clippings. Loose grass clippings are often used with glue on the outside of contraband to camouflage the package once it is dropped in the prison compound. A black case consistent with those used to protect drones was also observed in the passenger seat.

Foster denied investigators the right to search the vehicle. Investigators seized the vehicle and his cell phone and secured a search warrant. Once the search warrant was obtained, the vehicle was searched. Items found inside the vehicle included:

  • grass clippings
  • two ounces of marijuana
  • 10 marijuana vape pens
  • a drone batteries and charging accessories
  • drone controller

A $20,000 cash warrant bond was issued upon Foster’s arrest.

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Post Image- DJI Geo Zone map around Lawton Correction Facility- Lawton, Oklahoma (Image Credit: DJI)