3 arrested in smuggling attempt at Augusta Medical Prison

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 9:31 PM EST
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GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Three people were arrested in connection with a scheme to smuggle marijuana and meth into Augusta State Medical Prison by drone, according to authorities.

It all unfolded around 11:40 p.m. Friday, according to Grovetown Police Chief Jamey Kitchens.

Officers encountered Gerald Jiminez, 28, and Joslynn Apaisa, 26, both of Grovetown, walking near the dead-end of Railroad Avenue at its border of Augusta State Medical Prison property, Kitchens said.

Sgt. Michael Felicies and Officer Brittany Nelson began conducting a field interview of Jiminez and Apaisa, according to Kitchens.

Jiminez was wearing a backpack, which upon being searched was found to contain a remote-control drone as well as two vacuum-sealed packages, Kitchens said.

One package contained over a pound of marijuana and one contained over a pound of methamphetamine, Kitchens said

The drone was outfitted with a hook-and-release mechanism and Jiminez had additional drone parts in a separate fanny pack, according to Kitchens.

While officers were speaking with Jiminez and Apaisa, 28-year-old Isreal Walters, of Augusta, arrived in a vehicle and said he was in the area to provide a ride to Apaisa, despite Jiminez’s vehicle being parked nearby, according to Kitchens.

Walters was then detained while the investigation continued.

Upon questioning, Jiminez and Apaisa admitted to being in the area with the intent of getting the narcotics onto the prison grounds by drone, according to Kitchens.

Further investigation revealed that Walters was familiar with the plan and may have been in the area acting as a lookout, according to Kitchens.

All three were charged with trafficking of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana with Intent to distribute and booked into the Columbia County Detention Center, according to Kitchens, who said more charges are possible.