Man tries to fly drugs into prison with drone, GA cops say


A South Carolina man tried dropping weed, fentanyl, tobacco and cell phones into Telfair State Prison in Georgia, according to police. He was arrested.

Telfair County Sheriff

A man’s attempt at flying a bundle of drugs and cellphones into a Georgia state prison using a bright orange drone were thwarted, authorities said.

The package attached to the drone contained marijuana, fentanyl patches, tobacco, three cellphones and more, according to authorities in Telfair County.

Jon-Michael Austin, of Greenwood, South Carolina, was arrested after deputies were called to “suspicious activity” occurring at Telfair State Prison in McRae-Helena on Jan. 23, the Telfair County Sheriff said in a Jan. 24 news release.

Austin is charged with possessing marijuana with intent to distribute, possessing a schedule two substance with intent to distribute and with a criminal attempt to distribute contraband, the sheriff said.

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid considered a schedule two substance, meaning it has a “high potential for abuse,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Fentanyl patches can be prescribed by health care providers to patients “who need daily, round-the-clock, long-term pain medicine by releasing fentanyl through the skin over the course of the treatment,” the Food and Drug Administration says.

Austin was in jail as of Jan. 24 after a judge didn’t allow him bail, The Associated Press reported.

In December, a drone that was likely headed to a correctional facility — and carrying a package believed to contain drugs — crashed into a woman’s house in Mansfield, Ohio, McClatchy News reported.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the southeast and northeast while based in New York. She’s an alumna of The College of New Jersey and joined McClatchy in 2021. Previously, she’s written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and more.

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