Pair arrested after attempting to drone drop contraband at Collins Bay Institution

Kingston Police, Correctional Service of Canada, and Frontenac Paramedic vehicles on scene during the arrest of two people from Montreal who were caught attempting to fly contraband on the property of Collins Bay Institution on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023. Photo by Cody Stafford-Arenburg/Kingstonist.

As “drone drops” continue to beset the efforts of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to keep contraband and prohibited items out of prisons – particularly at Collins Bay Institution in the middle of Kingston – local police were able to thwart the plans of two people from Quebec who tried to contribute to that problem.

On the evening of Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023, Kingston Police, along with those from CSC, attended the parking lot of the shopping plaza on the south side of the intersection at Bath and Gardiners Road, known as the Gardiners Town Centre. There, two individuals had been caught “attempting to fly a drone with contraband onto the property of Collins Bay Institution,” Constable Anthony Colangeli, Media Relations Officer for Kingston Police, said in response to Kingstonist inquiries.

While the CSC employees simply happened to be in the area when the drone activity was detected, it was the local police who were able to intercept and arrest the two people plotting to deliver illegal drugs and contraband onto the property of the federal, multi-level-security prison. But the arrests didn’t happen without their own set of issues, Colangeli detailed.

Kingston Police arrived at the parking lot – which borders the CSC property at Collins Bay Institution – just before 7:45 p.m. Sunday evening, where a 29- and 32-year-old were found to be attempting the drone drop. The pair, both from Montreal, were arrested, however, the 29-year-old “became combative with the officers,” resisting the arrest. Police deployed a conducted energy weapon (CEW, more commonly referred to as a taser) to effect the arrest. As a result, Frontenac Paramedics were called to the scene, where the 29-year-old was checked over by paramedics before being transported to Kingston Police Headquarters with the accused 32-year-old. “No injuries were noted,” according to Colangeli, and both individuals were held in police custody to attend a bail hearing.

Police, who cornered the suspects’ vehicle, speak with one another during the arrest of two people who attempted to fly contraband onto prison property. Photo by Cody Stafford-Arenburg/Kingstonist.

The incident concluded with both of the accused persons being jointly charged with:

  • Delivering or receiving contraband to/from an inmate (under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act)
  • Distributing over 30 grams of cannabis as an adult (under the Cannabis Act)
  • Mischief/obstruction of property with a value not exceeding $5,000
  • Possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace.

The 29-year-old was additionally changed with:

  • Five counts of failure to comply with a release order
  • Resisting a public/peace officer

While Colangeli was unable to share information regarding the weapon seized during this incident, he did say that the contraband items the pair were attempting to drop on CSC property involved “a large quantity” of tobacco, cannabis, and hashish.

Kingstonist has inquired with CSC regarding this incident but did not receive immediate response. This article will be updated if/when more information becomes available.

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