Marijuana-laden drone crashes into home

Imagine getting an unwanted and equally unsolicited present for the holiday season.

That was exactly what a Mansfield, Ohio (USA) resident got last week, when she had something crash outside her home around 2200hours.

The lady told the Richland County Sheriff’s Office that upon inspection, she a Phantom 4 drone down by the house, with a package attached by a cord.

She said the drone was still beeping and – spooked by its suspicious package – the homeowner called the police, who reacted swiftly to the situation.

According to Captain Donald Zehner, the package contained multiple bags of marijuana, two cell phones with chargers, and a bag of loose tobacco. The contraband was covered nicely in bubble wrap and duct tape, the deputies say.

The Sheriff’s Deputies discovered that all the LED lights had been covered with duct tape.

This is not the first time police in the state have intercepted drones being used for something they were expressly not invented for; the Ohio Highway Patrol, along with the Sheriff’s Office, have reported drone use in the delivery of marijuana, tobacco, and cell phones to the Mansfield Correctional Institutions, both on State Route 13 and Richland Correctional Institution (RICI), on State Route 545 in Mansfield.

Captain Zehner suspects that, with the duct tape covering all the LED lights, there is a good possibility the drone carrying the package was intended for one of the prisons.

At $2,000 a unit, the Phantom 4 comes at a steep price; and no doubt an owner would want to recover it quickly were it to get lost.

But that is what they are using drone technology for in the first world: in a world where genuine humanitarian organisations in the Global South could do with a few Phantom 4s to help stay in touch with weather and disaster situations, you have people blowing up $2,000 on a drone just so they can saddle it with contraband for their incarcerated friends.

Captain Zehner was asked if it was possible for the owner to claim his piece of expensive equipment.

“Oh, sure!” The captain chuckled. To be fair, we would chuckle too.

“If someone wants to claim it, by all means contact the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, or better yet just stop by the Sheriff’s Office, and I will personally help them fill out the paperwork to claim it.”

Somehow, we suspect this will be in the Exhibit Room for a long time.


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