Contraband with an institutional value of over $300,000 seized at Collins Bay Institution

Kingstonist file photo.

Over more than a week, several packages containing contraband and unauthorized items with an institutional value of over $300,000 were seized at Collins Bay Institution, according to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).

Between April 28 and May 9, 2024, the packages were located and seized, thanks to the “vigilance of staff members” at the multi-level institution, according to a media release dated Thursday, May 16, 2024. These seizures were the result of both suspected drone drops and “throw-overs” (when packages are literally thrown over a wall or fence and onto an institution property).

The CSC stated that the items seized included tobacco, cannabis, hashish, shatter (cannabis concentrate), drug paraphernalia, cell phones, and cell phone accessories. The total estimated institutional value of these seizures is approximately $364,210. (Institutional value refers to what the items are worth if sold within the federal prison system.)

In response to Kingstonist inquiries, Michael Shrider, Regional Communications Manager for CSC, said that the seizures reported in this release include those that happened on May 8 and 9. As earlier reported, Kingston Police were on scene at Collins Bay Institution on the nights of May 8 and 9, when a person suspected of “throw overs” fled on foot from police and was able to evade officers, despite the deployment of the Kingston Police Canine Unit.

Since the beginning of 2024, federal prisons in the Kingston area have seen a notable uptick in reported seizures of contraband on prison property, many as the result of suspect drone drops. Kingstonist spoke with CSC about this increased activity in March. As of Thursday, May 16, 2024, there have been 11 reported such seizures at Collins Bay Institution (including this one), 15 at Joyceville Institution, and two at Millhaven Institution in Bath.

According to the release, the CSC uses a number of tools to prevent drugs from entering its institutions. These tools include ion scanners and detector dogs to search buildings, personal property, inmates, and visitors, the CSC noted, adding that it works “in partnership with police to take action against those who attempt to introduce” such items at federal prisons.

“CSC has set up a telephone tip line for all federal institutions so that it may receive additional information about activities relating to security at CSC institutions. These activities may be related to drug use or trafficking that may threaten the safety and security of visitors, inmates, and staff members working at CSC institutions,” the organization stated.

“The toll-free number, 1-866-780-3784, helps ensure that the information shared is protected and that callers remain anonymous.”

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