Suspect arrested in smuggling attempt at McCormick prison

A smuggler tried to use a drone to smuggle contraband into the McCormick State Prison,...
A smuggler tried to use a drone to smuggle contraband into the McCormick State Prison, authorities said.(Contributed)
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 5:58 PM EST
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McCORMICK, S.C. - A Columbia man is accused of trying to use a drone to smuggle drugs and other contraband to inmates at McCormick Correctional Institution.

On Tuesday while conducting a routine check for drones in the area, officers caught 24-year-old Arnez Jaakim Thompson trying to use a drone to deliver drugs, cellphones, and other items to inmates at the state prison, according to the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

Authorities said Thompson was arrested on a dirt road path outside the prison grounds. Officers confiscated a backpack he had containing a drone and two bags of contraband including:

  • 113 grams of a substance that field tested positive for fentanyl.
  • About 4 pounds of marijuana.
  • About 6 pounds of tobacco.
  • Cellphones, cigarettes, cigars, rolling papers, lighters and other items.

Thompson was arrested and he is being charged with trafficking in heroin, morphine, etc., more than 28 grams; possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; criminal conspiracy; and providing contraband to prisoners.

It’s not unusual for smugglers to try to use drones to get contraband into the prison. Earlier this month, McCormick County deputies intercepted an overnight drone delivery of marijuana, meth, tobacco, cellphones and other items.