Drone drops cellphones, drugs at Virginia private school


BRUNSWICK, Va. (WRIC) – Drugs were dropped from a drone Tuesday on the property of Brunswick Academy, a private school in rural Brunswick County, Virginia.

The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office says the package, which contained marijuana, tobacco and cellphones, was likely intended for the nearby Lawrenceville Correctional Center. It weighed about five pounds.

Police believe the package was dropped on school grounds around 5:40 a.m. Monday. Shortly afterward, witnesses say people in a sedan grabbed the drone. Police responded to the incident after a school employee reported it at 8:24 a.m.

Police say the Lawrenceville Correctional Facility has had issues with contraband in the past, including the involvement of staff members and other drone-related incidents.

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“It’s like something you would see in Hollywood, like watching one of these sitcoms or one of these prison movies, and you see that and think ‘well, that’s not reality,'” Brunswick County Sheriff Brian Roberts said.

He says just before 6 a.m. yesterday morning, a school bus driver made their first stop at Brunswick Academy.

“They [the bus driver] saw these green blinking lights coming in at a distance and something coming to the ground. He was not real sure what it was. Immediately this car comes flying in, passenger door comes open and they … pick up this thing.”

It was a drone. Sheriff Richards says when the bus driver returned after their route, their supervisor was called, and the package was later discovered.

A spokesperson for the GEO group, the private company that runs the prison said in part “like many correctional facilities across the country Lawrenceville Correctional Center faces challenges related to the use of drones for the introduction of contraband in a correctional setting.”

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Contraband at Lawrenceville has been an issue. Sheriff Roberts says at least four corrections officers were arrested this year alone for bringing drugs to the jail.

“Working with the administration of that place we’ve … arrested a lot of staff members for bringing in contraband – a lot,” Roberts said.

Sheriff Roberts says they’ll look at data on the two cellphones to try and find the suspects.

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