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

Fire ignites along Highway 7 between Hope and Agassiz

Nine volunteers doused the flames with what they had before fire crews arrived

Car crashes through front doors at Hope Pharmasave

No one injured as a result of Thursday morning crash, and store is still open despite the damage

Hope school board candidates talk SOGI, successes and rocky patches of past four years

Six candidates are vying for three Hope trustee positions up for grabs in an Oct. 20 election

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Cindy Young makes second run for top political job at the District of Hope

Young, in her run for mayor, is campaigning to attract business to Hope and keep local youth in the community

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

VIDEO: Man killed in shooting at Abbotsford bank

Police believe incident on Thursday night to be targeted

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read