Fentanyl-laced meth and phones seized after second prison drone drop

A pre-Christmas drone drop was followed by a second incident in Abbotsford on Dec. 30

A second drone delivery of drugs made its way to prisoners at Matsqui Institution in late December before guards swooped in and seized fentanyl-laced methamphetamine and two cell phones,

Gordon Tanner, the assistant warden managment services at the Abbotsford prison, told The News a drone delivered contraband on Dec. 30, a week after guards had intercepted a drop-off of hash butter and tobacco.

Tanner said the second delivery was detected by closed circuit television cameras, and that staff then were able to watch as inmates picked up the contraband. Guards eventually connected seven different inmates with the contraband, which Tanner said was methamphetamine laced with fentanyl and valued at $12,162. Two cellphones, one of which was believed to have been dropped off by the drone, were also seized.

Tanner said it’s believed the cellphones were used to co-ordinate the deliveries.

Last week, the prison announced that, on Dec. 23, guards had intercepted a package containing more than $26,000 worth of contraband – hash butter and tobacco – that had been dropped off by a drone.

Tanner said the arrival of that drone had first been detected by guards as it flew high above the prison.

“They could hardly see it, but they could hear it first,” he said. The guards then watched as the drone landed, left its package, and flew off.

Tanner said the urban surroundings of the prison makes it almost impossible to find the drone or its operator. He said any suspicious circumstances should be reported either to the Abbotsford Police, or to corrections’ tip line, at 1-866-780-3784. Callers to the tip line remain anonymous.

The prison is also limited in what technology it can use to hinder drones by both federal rules and by Matsqui Institution’s location in a urban area near residential neighbourhoods.

Matsqui Institution isn’t alone in finding itself challenged by the prevalence of drones. A CTV story from last February reported that drones were increasingly being spotted around prisons in Quebec and that two had been seized in 2016

Tanner said the prison is doing what it can to prevent future drops.

“You definitely step up your vigilence, your patrols in the yard,” he said. “We’re restricting times the yard can be used and making sure a tower is up.

Just Posted

Nanaimo hospital foundation trying to Light the Trees to combat colon cancer

December campaign calls for donations to build new $1.5-million endoscopy suite at NRGH

Smudging in B.C. classroom had ‘trivial’ impact on Christian family’s faith, says school district’s lawyer

Lawyers lay out arguments in case regarding indigenous cultural practice in Port Alberni classroom

Nanaimo hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

City of Nanaimo budget talks underway, projected tax increase up to 5.6 per cent

Series of special finance and audit meetings was held Wednesday at conference centre

One person injured in rollover crash on Nanaimo Parkway

Accident happened a little after noon in southbound lanes near Cedar Road

Beefs & Bouquets, Nov. 21

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

Front Street becomes permanent location for bus exchange

Nanaimo city council will look at safety upgrades, will work with RDN on design

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time for a ban on leaf blowers

Loud noise can cause heart attacks, deafness and mental disorders, says letter writer

Nanaimo’s Kirkwood Academy presents 20th production of ‘The Nutcracker’

More than 150 dancers of all ages to participate in classic Christmas ballet Nov. 22-23

City of Nanaimo to issue alert as it moves to new emergency information system

Municipality will send out reminder Thursday, Nov. 21, asking residents to switch to new system

Most Read