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2nd man tied to drone smuggling attempt at South Carolina prison sought

Officials seek public's help in finding a man linked to a drone smuggling attempt at South Carolina prison

Authorities issued a public plea Thursday to help them find one of two individuals who tried to sneak a drone carrying cellphones, marijuana and other contraband into a South Carolina maximum-security prison.

Officials at the South Carolina Department of Corrections have already arrested one person, Brenton Lee Doyle, in connection with the incident. An investigation was launched after officials on April 21 found a small drone that had crashed in the bushes outside the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville.

The drone appeared to have failed to make it past the 12-foot-high razor wire fence around the facility, according to department spokeswoman Stephanie Givens.

Givens said that officers also found cellphones, tobacco products, marijuana and synthetic marijuana at the site of the crash -- items that are prohibited to inmates.

Doyle, 28, was arrested on June 12, according to online court records. He has been charged with attempting to furnish prisoners with contraband and possession of the drug flunitrazopam, a muscle relaxant more commonly known as "roofies."

In the plea for the public's help, police released two photos of a person of interest, who is described only as a white male wearing a dark T-shirt and jeans.

Tips for finding the second individual could result in cash rewards of up to $1,000.

The incident marked the first time a drone has been used in an attempt to smuggle items into a South Carolina prison, Givens said.

Last fall, four people in Georgia were accused of using a remote-controlled drone to fly tobacco and cellphones into a prison in that state.

Before the South Carolina incident, Givens said the Georgia case was the only known incident of drones being used to sneak contraband into prisons in the United States.

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Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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