DUBLIN, Ga. (WTOC) -Three men have been indicted after an attempt to use a drone to smuggle drugs into a Georgia state prison.
37-year-old George Lo is currently an inmate at Smith State Prison in Glennville. He, along with 34-year-old Nicholas Lo and 34-year-old Cheikh Toure, are charged with Conspiracy. The Lo’s are also charged with Owning an Unregistered Aircraft that was Operated, Attempted to be Operated, or Allowed to be Operated by Another Person. Nicholas Lo and Toure are charged with Serving or Attempting to Serve as an Airman without an Airman’s Certificate.
“Drone delivered contraband, including cell phones, into correctional facilities, is an emerging threat endangering the safety of those inside and outside the prison walls,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “Our office works aggressively with law enforcement partners such as the Georgia Department of Corrections to crash-land these dangerous schemes.”
Court documents state that George Lo, then an inmate at Telfair State Prison in Telfair County, worked with Lo and Toure to develop a plan using a drone that would deliver contraband to the prison.
On August 26th of 2019, Telfair County Sheriff’s Deputies noticed a car parked about 100 yards away from the prison. Deputies found Lo and Toure in the woods with a large duffle bag. The contents included the drone, a RadioLink AT9S UAS controller, a Spektrum video monitor, and a headset. In addition, the bag contained 14 cell phones, at least 74 grams of tobacco, a digital scale, earbud headphones, and firearm ammunition.
The two were taken into custody. Lo is currently in the Hays State Prison. Toure pled not guilty and remains free on bond.
“Simply put, the illicit use of drones for the distribution of contraband is dangerous and illegal,” said Todd Damiani, Regional Special Agent-In-Charge, Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General. “We will continue to partner with law enforcement and prosecutors to pursue those who intentionally violate federal regulations for nefarious activities.”