The arrest of four individuals has prompted the Georgia Department of Corrections a praise report on staff for their vigilance in spotting a drone flying over Smith State Prison.
The state agency said Friday that Warden Jacob Beasley and agents with the Southeast Region Office of Professional Standards were exiting Smith State Prison on August 2 when they noticed a drone. They monitored the drone until the drone crashed on the roof of a nearby residence.
GDC referenced ‘a residence’ on which they located the drone and a number of individuals, but did not give any details regarding the proximity of the residence to the prison.
From the press release:
“Agents encountered Moses Echols sitting in a vehicle in the yard of the residence with a drone in the back seat. Civilian Jaime Dean was also located in the yard, sitting in a separate vehicle with a large package sitting in the passenger floorboard. A third civilian, Dannaye Walker, was located laying on the ground in a grassy area of the residence along with another drone and controller. All three individuals were taken into custody by OPS agents and transported to the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to the three arrests, a search warrant was secured for the property and residence, which revealed additional items consistent with those used to facilitate the introduction of contraband into a state prison. Civilian Sameerah Adams was also taken into custody by OPS agents and transported to the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office
- Sameerah Adams: Items Prohibited, O.C.G.A. 16-11-106; O.C.G.A. 16-13-30; Possession of Marijuana w/ Intent; O.C.G.A 16-11-106, Possession of Firearm during the Commission of a Felony
- Dannaye Walker: Items Prohibited, O.C.G.A. 16-11-106; O.C.G.A. 16-13-30; Possession of Marijuana w/ Intent
- Jamie Leigh Dean: Items Prohibited, O.C.G.A. 16-11-106; O.C.G.A. 16-13-30; Possession of Marijuana w/ Intent; O.C.G.A 16-11-106, Possession of Firearm during the Commission of a Felony; O.C.G.A. 16-11-160, Use of a Communication Device to Facilitate a Felony
- Moses Leroy Echols: Items Prohibited, O.C.G.A. 16-11-106; O.C.G.A. 16-13-30; Possession of Marijuana w/ Intent
Multiple items were seized from the individuals and vehicles that are consistent with items used to facilitate the introduction of contraband into state prison facilities of Georgia and packaged items identified as contraband beyond the guard lines of the GDC.
- 1508 grams marijuana
- 10,100 grams tobacco
- 3 drones
- 4 drone controllers
- 1 loaded Taurus .357 magnum handgun
- 1 loaded .9 mm SCCY handgun
- 2 digital scales
- 6 cell phones
- 1 hotspot
- 10 rolls tape
- 4 vacuum sealer rolls
- 1 box black & milds
- 2 black duffel bags
- 1 gas mask
- 5 cellphone chargers
- 1 tube of super glue
- 12 large magnets
- 10 USB cords
- 2 SD cards
- 2 vacuum sealers
- 3 footballs
- 16 charging blocks
Smith State Prison is particularly noteworthy with regard to its contraband issues given the arrest of a number of former GDC employees for contraband and even the arrest of now-former Warden Brian Adams. The prison was also home to inmates who have been charged with the murders of two individuals on the outside while they were incarcerated at Smith State Prison. A third person was murdered through a plot which allegedly originated out of GDC’s most secure facility, the Special Management Unit in Jackson.
GDC said in their press release Friday that their goal is to ‘eradicate the facilities’ of the threat of contraband, however, the agency took no action, investigative or otherwise, after it was revealed that the murder plots were tied to the inmates in their facilities. Similarly, they took no action against then Warden Brian Adams until he was arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation – some 20 months after the news first came to light.
It’s previously been said by other law enforcement officials that for every drone drop that is halted, ten more are successful.