A network which called itself “Air Parcel” and offered its services to make deliveries using drones to various prisons in the west of France was dismantled near Nantes, the prosecutor’s office announced on Friday. .
Four men aged 21 to 26, residing in La Baule (Loire-Atlantique), were indicted for flying over a prohibited zone, irregularly introducing objects to detainees and drug trafficking, indicated during a conference of urges the public prosecutor of Nantes, Renaud Gaudeul.
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They are suspected of being at the heart of a particularly sophisticated delivery system which was known under the name “Air Parcel” on the Snapchat network and was active in the prison centers of Nantes, Lorient, Le Havre and Poitiers.
According to the prosecution, the criminals went through the relatives of the detainees to collect the goods to be delivered (drugs and cell phones). They were paid for delivery of 400 euros per 500 grams, the maximum load for their drones, simple commercial models worth 500 euros.
Acting in the middle of the night, they had equipped the machines with a clamp allowing them to drop a sock containing the goods, suspended by fishing line, as close as possible to the prisoners’ windows. The recipients of the package guided the drone pilot with light codes.
The four accused had established a logistics base in a hangar in Pornichet (Loire-Atlantique) and have made more than fifty deliveries since May.
These clandestine deliveries were reported last May by the prison administration. Searches at the Carquefou remand center, near Nantes, uncovered 36 mobile phones and 1.6 kg of drugs, mainly cannabis.
Entered into the investigation, the gendarmes notably used “an aeroscope which makes it possible to detect the frequencies of the drone engines”, explained Cécilia Agez, commander of the Nantes gendarmerie company.
Three suspects, brothers of Toulouse origin known to the courts, were arrested on September 26 in a field near the Carquefou remand center, at 4:00 a.m., in the middle of a delivery. A fourth was arrested a little later at his home.
They face 10 years in prison for two of them, a maximum sentence doubled for the other two, due to repeated drug trafficking.
The inmate sponsors and their relatives also face prosecution.
09/30/2023 03:01:48 – Nantes (AFP) – © 2023 AFP
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