Heliguy Helps to Convict Prison Drone Smuggler

Heliguy Helps to Convict Prison Drone Smuggler

Heliguy has worked alongside Kent Police to provide evidence which aided in the conviction of a man who was caught smuggling contraband into prison via drone.

Last updated: Jan 25, 2024

1 minute read


A man who was caught trying to smuggle contraband into various prisons via drone has been sentenced to 14 months in prison.

In what is considered to be the first case of its kind, the culprit (and accomplices) used a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced to fly supplies over the walls.

It’s believed that the drone was carrying prohibited goods intended for inmates serving time in Wandsworth in London HMP, The Mount in Hemel Hempstead and also Elmley and Swaleside in Sheppey, the latter incident being the one for which heliguy™ provided evidence.

The culprit was arrested on 25th April 2016 when police saw him running towards an Audi in Eastchurch. The car took off at speed but he was apprehended quickly, caught with the offending drone in his boot. The Phantom drone had been painted black, its LEDs were covered and it was operated using a controller from the Inspire 1 V2.

PrisonPhantom2 Image courtesy of Kent Police 

Although the defendant admitted to ‘conspiracy to project a drone into prisons between 15th April and 6th May 2016’, the Prosecutor told Maidstone Crown Court it wasn’t possible to say for certain what was actually flown into these prisons.

heliguy™ & Kent Police

Evidence presented to the police by Heliguy's expert technical team helped to pinpoint the location and subsequent movements of the drone by analysing flight path data which placed the culprit at the scene and showed that the drone had indeed flown into the Swaleside prison grounds.

PrisonPhantom1 Image courtesy of Kent Police

DC Mark Silk of Kent Police who was involved in the investigation and worked closely with Heliguy's technical team said: “Although we could not prove what was being carried, the good work by heliguy™ pushed the defendant into a corner and he had no choice but to plead guilty.”

Aside from assisting in the HMP Swaleside case, heliguy™ is currently in contact with other police forces across the UK, analysing data to help them kerb the unlawful use of drones. We will bring you more information as these cases develop.

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