The Feds have the drop on criminally motivated drone operators.
Federal prosecutors have charged two New Jersey men with using a drone to drop items into Fort Dix Federal Prison in New Jersey.
Nicolo Denichilo and Adrian Goolcharran, ages 38 and 35 respectively, were accused of making almost a dozen illegal airborne drops of marijuana, cell phones, syringes and steroids into the prison’s exercise yard since July 2018. Goolcharran, who is still at large, allegedly organized and facilitated the drops using text messages and aerial images of Fort Dix with Denichilo assisting in making the prison deliveries.
After a drop in April of this year, police stopped and interrogated Denichilo and Goolcharran about five miles from the prison but were not arrested. On another occasion, a man fitting Goolcharran’s description was seen with another individual on surveillance camera flying a drone near the prison. On Thursday, the men were approached by police and fled, but Denichilo was caught and charged.
Prison officials found one inmate with 34 cell phones, nine chargers, 51 SIM cards, and other phone equipment. In total, prison officials claim that they have retrieved more than 160 cell phones, 150 SIM cards, 74 cell phone batteries, 35 syringes, marijuana, steroids, and two saw blades from the aerial drops.
Denichilo and Goolcharran have been charged with conspiring the smuggled contraband into a federal prison and conspiring to defraud the government. They face up to five years in prison and $100K in fines.