SC Prison Drone Crash: WTH?

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS …  A South Carolina drone crash near a maximum security prison has authorities searching for a suspect … and the rest of us scratching our heads. The crash site was discovered on April 21 near Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C. – but the incident was not…


A South Carolina drone crash near a maximum security prison has authorities searching for a suspect … and the rest of us scratching our heads.

The crash site was discovered on April 21 near Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C. – but the incident was not disclosed by the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) until this week.  Investigators have arrested one suspect in connection with the dronyearse crash, and are searching for another individual.

What was inside the drone?  All sorts of contraband, including cell phones, marijuana, cocaine, synthetic marijuana and tobacco.  SCDC officials told The Associated Press the drone crashed while attempting to clear a twelve-foot wall at the “Level 3” facility – which houses some of the Palmetto State’s most dangerous inmates.

News of the drone crash comes one day after this website published a story on efforts by SCDC to cover up a rash of prison riots.  That story addressed the extent to which cell phones and other contraband are ubiquitous in Palmetto prisons.

Last week an Amazon employee was chastised by police in Seattle, Washington for flying his drone too close to the city’s famous space needle.  Amazon, of course, is the company that wants to create an air force of drone vehicles to deliver its packages to consumers.

Roughly ten states have enacted drone-related legislation in recent years – but South Carolina is not one of them.  There is currently no federal legislation regulating drones, but Congress has instructed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to come up with rules no later than September 2015.

The FAA is currently attempting to regulate drone usage under model aircraft standards issued decades ago – but those standards are voluntary and fines against drone users have been overturned by courts.

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The Colonel July 31, 2014 at 7:51 am

Big deal, criminals have been attempting to get convicted criminals contraband with everything from body packing to sling shots to trebuchets to canon (of the potato gun variety). They’ve basically gone through the history of warfare in a effort to find a tool that will effectively get contraband to the convict without their getting caught. Matthew’s deputies recently caught a group on the way to one of these attempts, they had ten cell phones, pot, coke and all the rest

Jackie Chiles July 31, 2014 at 9:16 am

Hey, at least they’re not using helicopters to help prisoners escape like they do in Canada.


The Colonel July 31, 2014 at 9:51 am

Actually, it’s happened in SC before, in 1985 at the Perry Correctional Institution in Pelzer. Five inmates made it over the fence before two of them were pushed out (the 5 seat helicopter was way overloaded). They were all eventually recaptured. The helicopter escape has been used in the US eight or nine times and was at least initially successful seven times.

aikencounty July 31, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Oops, should have read farther before i added my two cents.
Course it is home county!

Jackie Chiles July 31, 2014 at 3:09 pm

I heard somewhere that in recent years, prisons have been designed to prevent those type of escapes in the U.S. Canada, apparently is behind the times in prison building.

aikencounty July 31, 2014 at 3:03 pm

They did that years ago in Greenville County!

Here too July 31, 2014 at 3:36 pm

And Greenville. Don’t forget the Perry escape back in the early 90’s I think it was. One guy made it all the way to Mexico until his old lady, the one who commandeered the HC, gave up his location so she could shorten her stay. One guard actually hung on the runner so they shot the poor bastard in the face.

Here Too July 31, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Damn, didn’t see the Col. down there.

lolipop ervin July 31, 2014 at 7:56 am

What was in the drone? Fliers from the Democrat Tom Ervin campaign informing the prisoners that he has their ‘assholes’ on GAY MARRIAGE?

Smirks July 31, 2014 at 8:42 am

You sure are infatuated with Ervin.

Sandi Morals July 31, 2014 at 9:05 am

You sure are infatuated with those that you say are infatuated with ‘traitor’ Tommy.
I love living in your empty skull , comrade.

Smirks July 31, 2014 at 9:13 am

Your infatuation with Ervin suggests he lives inside your head. (Or, of course, you’re just paid to obsess over him.)

The Colonel July 31, 2014 at 9:42 am

Do they actually pay people to post some of this foolishness? I’d be happy to offer my talents, such as they are, to the highest bidder.

nitrat July 31, 2014 at 9:58 am

I don’t know if anyone gets paid. But, I bet that on certain topics political hack hires at state agencies keep their keyboards smoking.

Smirks July 31, 2014 at 10:42 am

I’m only guessing because a few commenters seem to appear out of thin air on only specific topics (example: Loftis), or in this case, during an election year. If they’re being funded by a campaign, I can’t imagine seeing them comment any longer past maybe a week after election day.

I read an article where someone took a job posting comments to like 4 or 5 different blogs/forums, they were basically given a binder of different things to write and were taught how to interact with other posters. He worked in a nondescript building with other people, each one assigned to different sites, and they had quotas and stuff of how much they had to write and all that.

If you think about it, campaigns usually hire someone or some group to do their social media for their candidate, so it really isn’t that far of a step to have them go ahead and comment on popular news sites, blogs, forums, etc. and try to sway potential voters.

EDIT: Here’s the link to the article, sorry, took me a bit to find it. I can only imagine the number of groups like this, and what topics they may cover. Interesting read, though.


Let Me Tell Y'all 'Bouts Ervin July 31, 2014 at 10:42 am

Speaking of drones…

Frank July 31, 2014 at 8:08 am

Haley told her little pretty boy prison director to keep it quite until after the election but there are enough prisons guards that can’t stand Haley who dropped a dime on her ass.

Adam July 31, 2014 at 8:10 am

Once again Haley covering up the truth until someone leaks it out….lies lies lies is all this idiot knows.

The Colonel July 31, 2014 at 8:52 am

This is the sort of thing you kind of want to keep quiet until you’ve done some investigating on the off chance that you’ll catch the culprits and to hold down the copycats Adam.

CNSYD July 31, 2014 at 9:23 am

Colonel, you and those damn facts again!

nitrat July 31, 2014 at 9:53 am

So, Colonel, you don’t think 3 months is a bit long for an investigation where you have pretty much everyone you want to ask about it locked up or working at the prison?

The Colonel July 31, 2014 at 10:13 am

I’m personally involved in an investigation that has been going on for over a year – no, I don’t think 3 months is to long. What good does it do for you to know that guards found a crashed remote control helicopter outside one of our prisons? We’re not talking about an out of control government operation like Fast and Furious, an airplane crash or Benghazi. We’re talking about a group of none to bright criminals failed attempt to smuggle contraband into a prison. The contraband thing happens all the time. I’m aware of attempts that have included: a potato canon, a giant slingshot made of surgical tubing and a fork in a tree and a football. Mexican smugglers have used trebuchets to loft bales of dope over the border. Back in the old days of physical visits at CCI, women snatch smuggled stuff all the time.

The Colonel July 31, 2014 at 10:19 am

Don’t believe it happens all the time – check this story out: http://www.wistv.com/story/25006180/sc-corrections-investigating-rap-video-made-by-inmates

tomstickler July 31, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Heh, heh! He said “snatch”.

Celly July 31, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Cellmate: Damn nigga, where you get that Snickers. I appreciate you sharing and all but it smell funny. Hmm, I know that taste from somewhere. Shank.

Nikki PublicRelations(non sex) July 31, 2014 at 8:34 am

It’s good to see the down and out embracing technology in an effort to better their lives.

Batman July 31, 2014 at 10:53 am

Is everyone getting tired of all the legislation on every topic that comes up in the news. Because of an incident that involved a hobby drone crashing and having contraband. Now they that want to outlaw the use of drones. How stupid is this. I have an idea, tell the guards to watch the fence for drones flying around during the day time. If they fly at night they will emit a IR light that can easily be seen with night vision. Train the guards better and stop with the stupid legislation. I think these people get bored and they feel they have to do something while in office, “duh, I know, lets make another stupid law for the books”.

SCBlues July 31, 2014 at 8:43 am

“SC Prison Drone Crash: WTH?”

Is WTH the kindler, gentler WTF?

I thought with the Mace Campaign over things would return to the regular FitsNews vernacular . . .

Is she running for something again?

And just for you Trivia Buffs – here is a little known morsel – Mace was the First Female Graduate of The Citadel – amaze your friends with that little tidbit.

shifty henry July 31, 2014 at 9:20 am

Yes, and please note that someday she will referred to as the “First WHITE female graduate of the Citadel” …..

nitrat July 31, 2014 at 9:49 am

Maybe, his kids are getting old enough that he’s finally figured out that his blogging antics will/have made them and his entire family targets for shunning by the other parents…and, that it will only get worse as they get older and the other kids start hearing their parents talk about him and take it out on his kids directly.
If so, good for Sic. He may be growing up.

Squishy123 July 31, 2014 at 9:50 am

Was it a “drone” or a remote control helicopter? Or is everything flying a drone these days?

Gimme Back my bullets July 31, 2014 at 3:43 pm

They should reserve DRONE for the armed versions only. That is the kind T-RAV wants.

Bible Thumper July 31, 2014 at 10:03 am


Dave Chappelle July 31, 2014 at 10:23 am

SC may not have enacted “drone-related legislation” yet, but that doesn’t mean that current airspace rules are to be ignored. There are specific guidelines dealing with all airspace (see FAR/AIM 2014). It’s not the “Wild West” without legislation. No need to pull a “Chicken Little” over this.
Mostly, enforcement of airspace requirements has been very relaxed. After the first mid-air collision, we will likely see things enforced.

aikencounty July 31, 2014 at 3:09 pm

If I have a drone hovering 75 feet above my yard for minutes on end, am I within my rights to bring the old 870 to bear and down it with a load of number 6?

Yes July 31, 2014 at 3:49 pm

At most discharging a firearm within 100 feet of a dwelling or some other horseshit misdemeanor. Drop it, pull the card out immediately and if anyone pursues it then take a looksee at what they were recording. On the other hand, if an FBI agent comes out of the bushes you’re screwed. On the other – other hand, if an FBI agent is hiding in your bushes either you are screwed or he is screwing your wife. So, revert back to the card and see what the hell he was looking at.

The Colonel July 31, 2014 at 11:20 pm

A good quality air rifle we’ll bring most of them down. Most commercial remote control helicopters (what many of these drones really are) are relatively fragile.

Dog Gone It July 31, 2014 at 12:18 pm

If the FCC would allow prisons to jam cell signals inside prison most of this will be eliminated. Cell phones sell for about $300 each, cigarettes $2-$3 each.

The Colonel July 31, 2014 at 1:25 pm

John Ozmint did just that and he was “jammed” by the FCC.

Fucka Drone July 31, 2014 at 3:31 pm

The guy across the canal at Fripp Island thought that it would be funny to fly one over and peek inside my daughters window. Unfortunately I was the only one home. I proceeded to walk out onto my patio with my trusty .28 gauge side-by-side and dropped in in the weeds with one barrel. The best part was watching him wading over at low tide in the dark looking for the wreckage while my buddies and I called him lots of fun names.
Now most everybody on the island knows that he is a pervert.

aikencounty July 31, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Double barrel 28 gauge.
Now that ain’t nuttin’ but class!


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