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Man Who Flew Drone Into Maximum Security Prison Gets 15 Years

January 22, 2015 - 28-year-old Brenton Lee Doyle was sentenced on Tuesday to 15 years behind bars for his attempt to smuggle contraband using a drone into a maximum security prison in Bishopville, South Carolina. 

Back on April 21, Lee Correctional Institution prison guards were performing a routine perimeter check of the facility when they spotted the wreckage of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone just outside the prison's 12-foot-tall fence. Attached to the drone were cell phones, marijuana, tobacco, and synthetic weed.  

Within four months of the prison guards findings Doyle was arrested on the charges of attempting to smuggle contraband into the prison and marijuana possession. Corrections officials have banned cell phone use by prisoners as they believe it poses a security threat to correctional officers and to the public. 


Back in 2010, Corrections Capt. Robert Johnson was shot at his Sumter home six times, police reported that the shooting was an orchestrated hit put out by an inmate using a cell phone that was smuggled into prison. Johnson survived the shooting and has since retired. 

Doyle had pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced in Lee County court to 10 years for attempting to smuggle contraband into prison and he was given five years for marijuana possession. 

In the past prison officials have had to deal with people trying to throw things over the fence for the inmates. But know correction officials are having to deal with drones. In December, corrections officials began installing thermal imaging cameras and erecting surveillance towers in an effort to stop contraband from getting into the prison. Doyle is currently being held at Sumter Lee Regional Detention.


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