20 people arrested for using drones to deliver contraband to South Carolina prison
An eight-month investigation at a South Carolina prison resulted in the confiscation of more than 100 contraband books and 20 arrests, the state Department of Corrections said. announcement Thusday. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation into “frequent nighttime drone assaults” at the Lee Correctional Facility in Bishopville in May 2021.
Since then, authorities have seized approximately 100 pounds of tobacco, 13 pounds of marijuana, 843 grams of methamphetamines, 114 grams of crack cocaine, 49 grams of cocaine, 12 drones, three guns, two knives, 25 cell phones and $6,393 in species. Authorities also discovered abandoned drones in the woods near the prison fences that contained approximately 100 grams of methamphetamine and five pounds of tobacco.
In the final sting of the weekend, authorities arrested Morrell Godbolt, Anthony Bullard, Buddy Berry Jr., Hezekiah Brown and Divine Scott. They are believed to be part of separate, independent groups attempting to fly drones over prison fences at the same time, officials said. Each suspect has been charged with smuggling and criminal conspiracy, with Scott facing an additional charge of failing to stop at a blue light.
Their arrests brought the total number of people charged in the investigation to 20. The other 15 suspects face a slew of charges, including drug trafficking and possession, contraband, criminal association and trespassing.
Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simon said one of the drones found last weekend was the largest he had ever seen. “These large drones can carry increasingly heavy packages. We work hard to keep them from falling into the wrong hands,” he said.
In 2018, ain the same prison in South Carolina left seven dead and 17 other inmates injured. It was considered at the time the worst riot in an American prison in 25 years.