Two men were charged with attempting to smuggle drugs, cell phones and other contraband into the Fort Dix correctional facility in New Jersey using drones. Photo courtesy Federal Bureau of Prisons
March 15 (UPI) -- Two New Jersey men were charged with conspiring to use drones to smuggle drugs and other contraband into a federal prison, the Department of Justice announced.
Nicolo Denichilo, 38, and Adrian Goolcharran, 35, were each charged with one count of conspiring to smuggle contraband and to defraud the United States and one count of smuggling contraband into the federal correctional facility at Fort Dix, the Justice Department announced Friday.
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 while the contraband charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Denichilo was arrested on March 12 after federal law enforcement agents learned of a scheduled drone drop and Goolcharran remains at large.
The two men were accused of attempting to smuggle marijuana, steroids syringes, cellphones and cellphone equipment into the prison by using drones to make delivery drops.
"Goolcharran used cellphones to coordinate the drops with others, including text messaging aerial shots of locations at Fort Dix to better position the drops and to discuss weather conditions," the Justice Department said.
When Denichilo was arrested, officials also found an inmate in the area of the drop inside the prison with 34 cellphones, nine chargers, 51 SIM cards and other equipment. Agents were also able to seize an SUV near the launch site and found a drone in the back seat.
Agents have seized more than 160 cellphones, 150 sim cards, 74 cellphone batteries and chargers, 35 syringes and two metal saw blades in addition to unspecified amounts of marijuana and steroids from intercepted drone drops.