The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in West Virginia did not hesitate to act when the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) McDowell notified the law enforcement agency in November 2023 of increased drone activity near the prison.

During the investigation, MCSO Sheriff James W. Muncy collaborated with the West Virginia State Police-Welch Detachment and the county Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The cooperation resulted in arrests in December 2023 and continued into February 2024. In total, 11 individuals were apprehended as part of the investigation to deliver drugs into FCI McDowell.

One of the suspects, 29-year-old Jose Sanchez Rodriguez from Louisville, Kentucky, was discovered deceased on Thursday. Rodriguez was sighted and pursued by the Sheriff’s Office on February 9; however, he eluded capture at that time, and his body was discovered on Thursday. His body has been forwarded to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for a thorough autopsy.

The 11 individuals who have been apprehended face a range of charges, encompassing attempts to introduce contraband into a correctional facility, unlawful operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone), felony conspiracy, and possession with the intent to deliver a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

Additionally, two of the suspects, Hector Luis and Raymond Saez, are charged with obstructing an officer, fleeing from an officer on foot, introducing contraband into a correctional facility, assault on an officer, and engaging in terroristic acts.

The remaining charged individuals include Jose Enrigue, Dominguez Santos, Arturo Gallegos, Miguel Piceno, Francisco Gonzalez, Bailey Sexton, Frank Salgado, and a juvenile.

Rivera Gamalier, an additional suspect, faces charges as a fugitive from justice out of Pennsylvania. The pending charges against Gamalier include unauthorized use of an unmanned aerial vehicle, introducing contraband into a correctional facility, engaging in terroristic acts, and felony conspiracy.

Post Image Credit: FCI McDowell