EXCLUSIVE: Two drone ‘packages’ drop into CQ prison Xmas Day
Capricornia Correctional Centre was sent into lockdown on Christmas Day after someone attempted to drop contraband, believed to be drugs, into the centre using a drone.
Queensland Corrections Services provided detail of the events to The Morning Bulletin this morning.
About 1.45pm, a custodial correctional officer saw a drone hovering over the exercise yard of a secure unit carrying a package and the package was dropped into the exercise yard.
Officers responded by locking down the unit immediately and confiscating the package from a prisoner.
Soon after, a second contraband drop was made by drone in the same area.
The entire prison was locked down, and the package retrieved by officers.
All non-essential movements within the prison were stopped for the day, and prisoners remained in lockdown while a full search of external areas of the centre was completed by officers, assisted by Delta Unit.
The packages were secured as evidence and QCS is assisting CSIU in investigating the incident and they are still to confirm the contents.
On Boxing Day, the prisoner who caught the first package reported to health staff that he had swallowed an "unknown substance".
QCS said the prisoner began to behave in an "elevated manner" and was transported to hospital.
The Morning Bulletin initially reported yesterday that multiple crews were responding to the prison attending what was believed to be a drug overdose involving meth.
He was returned to the centre later that day.
Deputy Commissioner Andy Beck said the incident was deeply disappointing and concerning.
"Flying a drone over a prison is an offence under the Queensland Corrections Act, as is introducing contraband into centres," Deputy Commissioner Beck said.
"Prisons are highly controlled environments for a reason, and the introduction of drugs and contraband puts the safety of our officers, prisoners and visitors at risk."
Deputy Commissioner Beck said the strategies officers used to combat the introduction of drugs and other prohibited items into centres included constant monitoring of all mail to and from the centre as well as random and targeted, intelligence led searches.
"If contraband does get into the centre, intelligence handling and officer led searches are very effective in removing these items from the prison," he said.
Deputy Commissioner Beck gave a stern warning about the significant legal consequences for people smuggling drugs or other contraband into the centre.
Repercussions for prisoners which include charges for possession/supply of illegal drugs and trafficking, all of which carry significant penalties.
"Those who would introduce contraband may be subject to prison sentences of up to two years imprisonment and significant fines," Deputy Commissioner Beck said
"When prisoners are identified as being involved in this type of activity, it may lead to them losing access to contact visits and other privileges.
"We have a zero-tolerance approach to people introducing contraband into the centre, so it is not worth the risk for either party."
In 2018 two people were sentenced to 18 months jail for attempting to introduce contraband into an SEQ prison using a drone.
The Christmas incident is the second drone related offence at the CCC in 2019.
According to QCS, people caught flying drones over Queensland prisons face prison sentences of up to two years and fines of more than $12,000.