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Inmates are using drones to smuggle contraband into South Carolina prisons

State officials say inmates are using drones to smuggle smartphones, tobacco and other banned items into prisons across South Carolina.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Officials with the South Carolina Department of Corrections say criminals used drones to deliver dozens of items to a prison in Columbia. 

Authorities said they recovered about a dozen phones, headphones and enough tobacco to make more than 1,300 cigarettes. The state said one drone dropped a large package of banned goods onto the yard at a prison in Kershaw, including smartphones and marijuana. 

In a statement, the department of corrections said it has installed 50-foot tall golf course netting around prisons to prevent contraband from being catapulted over the fence. 

"We have drone detection technology and have done many other things in a multi-platform strategy to combat this," SCDC said in a statement.

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