Greenville Men Arrested for Attempting Drone Contraband Drop at Prison

Innovative Drone Smuggling Attempt Thwarted Near Ridgeland Correctional Institute

In a case that highlights the growing issue of drone-assisted contraband smuggling, two men from the Greenville area have been arrested in South Carolina.

Tavis Barnette, 42, and Joshua Bryan Lay, 33, faced charges this week after being caught using a drone to deliver illegal items into the Ridgeland Correctional Institute, according to WSPA.

Caught in the Act

The Department of Corrections reported that Barnette and Lay were apprehended in a solar panel field near the prison.

They were allegedly operating a drone loaded with various items aimed at the correctional facility.

The interception of this drone thwarted their plans to smuggle cigarettes, cell phones, narcotics, and other prohibited materials into the prison.

Seizure of Contraband and Charges

Upon their arrest, officers confiscated not only the drone but also a significant quantity of illegal substances.

Among the seized items were 30 grams of methamphetamine, 10 grams of cocaine, and 873 grams of marijuana. The discovery of these narcotics underscores the severity of the offense.

Barnette faces multiple charges, including trafficking in methamphetamines, two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, providing contraband to prisoners, and criminal conspiracy.

Similarly, Lay is charged with trafficking in methamphetamines, one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, providing contraband to prisoners, and criminal conspiracy.

A Growing Concern

This incident sheds light on the increasing challenge prisons face with the advent of . The use of drones for smuggling contraband into prisons represents a significant security concern, necessitating advanced countermeasures and vigilance from correctional facilities.

The successful thwarting of this smuggling attempt is a testament to the vigilance and preparedness of the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

Follow on your Google News feed.

Get your Part 107 Certificate

Pass the test and take to the skies with the Pilot Institute. We have helped thousands of people become airplane and commercial drone pilots. Our courses are designed by industry experts to help you pass FAA tests and achieve your dreams.

pilot institute dronexl

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. The content, images, and intellectual property on this website are protected by copyright law. Reproduction or distribution of any material without prior written permission from is strictly prohibited. For permissions and inquiries, please contact us here.

FTC: is an Amazon Associate and uses affiliate links that can generate income from qualifying purchases. We do not sell, share, rent out, or spam your email.

Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

Articles: 2986

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap