Two arrests after gardaí intercept attempt to fly drugs in prison
Man and woman had drone, drugs and mobile phone outside Castlerea Prison
The pair, a 45-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man, were believed to have been in the process of setting up the equipment when they were apprehended and arrested. File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Two people have been arrested by gardaí as they prepared to use a drone to fly drugs and mobile phones into Castlerea Prison in Co Roscommon.
The pair, a 45-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man, were believed to have been in the process of setting up the equipment when they were apprehended and arrested.
Among the items seized were 440 unspecified tablets, believed to be controlled drugs, cannabis herb, two mobile phones, a watch phone and the drone itself. It is understood both people are known to gardaí.
The incident occurred outside the Roscommon prison at 11am on Thursday morning.
In a statement, gardaí said they stopped and searched a car at Harristown, Castlerea next to the facility. They were being questioned by gardaí at Castlerea Garda station on Thursday evening under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.
A statement from the governor of Castlerea Prison said “the prison works closely with An Garda Síochána and we welcome their intervention and continued support in assisting the prevention of contraband entering our facility”.
Drones have previously been used as a means to smuggle contraband into prison yards although the rate of attempts and of success is impossible to quantify.
Last month, the Irish Prison Service said it had prevented a similar incident at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin when the drone was intercepted.
Prison staff removed prisoners from the area before taking the material from netting above the yard.
A spokesman said there had been an increase in such drone use in recent years and that measures had been taken to counter it.