Last week, a drone carrying 16 individual bags of marijuana, cell phones and chargers, two bags of tobacco, and 31 oxycodone pills crashed into the ground near the Washington State Prison yard.

A corrections department spokeswoman, Joan Heath, said that the drone crashed into the ground near the prison around 10:45 p.m. Drones carrying contraband into prison yards has been a growing problem. It is the newest way that inmates can get contraband into the prison to sell to other prisoners for a significant profit. For the most part, prison administrators only know that a drone has come and gone because pieces of packages dropped from the sky are found stuck in the prison yard fences or on the ground near the prison yard.

We had previously reported on this issue in our post about a Department of Justice report on the flying of contraband into prisons using drones –the problem is that current anti-drone technologies fail to protect prisons against these drone deliveries. While smuggling contraband into prison through any method violates federal law, no federal law currently prohibits drones from flying near correctional facilities (aside from some newly implemented local and state laws) – this is a loophole in the legislation that inmates will continue to utilize until drones can no longer be flown near or around prisons across the country and prison administration is permitted to ground those drones who do cross those barriers.