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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sexual assault stories from treeplanting camps ‘shocking but not surprising’

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Angel Flights looking to spread its wings and service in East Kootenays

Angel Flights is a free service that takes patients from the East Kootenays to Kelowna

Kicking Horse conditions update, Thursday February 27

Kicking Horse reports 1 cm of new snow in the last 24… Continue reading

Golden highway update, Thursday February 27

DriveBC reports slippery sections between Beaverfoot Rd and Field, just east of… Continue reading

Interior Health leading the way with innovative therapy for stroke patients

Percentage of ischemic stroke patients who received treatment has risen dramatically

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Trans Canada east of Revelstoke to be closed overnight

The highway will reopen at 10 a.m. Feb. 29

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Most Read