KERSHAW, S.C. — Two men have been arrested after authorities say they tried to fly drones carrying contraband materials into a medium-security Lancaster County prison.
Authorities said deputies found the men on property belonging to the Kershaw Correctional Institution around 3 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities said that when they approached the men, they fled the scene and initially refused to stop.
Deputies said they arrested Charles Everett Adams and Justin Marvin Canady after a short chase. The two are charged with attempting to provide contraband materials to inmates, drug possession and marijuana distribution charges.
(Adams and Canady)
When they were arrested, the men had drones with them, as well as packaged contraband materials including knives, marijuana and cellphones, according to authorities. They said deputies also found two stolen laptops in the car that the men were driving.
Lancaster County sheriff Barry Faile said the situation could have been very serious.
"We certainly have a concern that they could fly weapons, anything to harm officers, or drugs, contraband for that matter, anything," Faile said.
(Click PLAY to watch the sheriff explain what deputies found with the suspects)
The arrests mark the second case of their kind in South Carolina, where individuals have been charged with trying to use a drone to smuggle contraband into a South Carolina prison. One man is serving a 15-year sentence after officials found a crashed drone outside a maximum-security prison in 2014.
Prison officials for years have warned of the threat posed in prison by smuggled cellphones, which were included in both drone attempts. A measure making it illegal to fly a drone near a prison has passed the state Senate, but stalled in the House.
"I would like to thank Sheriff Barry Faile and his deputies for their quick response and partnership," corrections director Bryan Stirling said in a statement provided to AP.
The Kershaw Correctional Institution houses nearly 1,300 male inmates.
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