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Man accused of attempting to smuggle drugs by drone into detention center

Officials say the drone was carrying a package wrapped in black electrical tape by some fishing line.
Credit: WCYB

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. — The Washington County Tennessee Sheriff's Office arrested a Watauga man accused of flying a drone with a package over the Washington County Detention Center.

According to Sheriff Keith Sexton, detention officers spotted the drone flying over one of the jail yards Sunday afternoon. Officials say the drone was carrying a package wrapped in black electrical tape by some fishing line.

Detention officers managed to grab the package and break the line.

Officials say the man attempted to fly the drone away but crashed when the leftover fishing line was blown into the propellers of the drone. Deputies responding to the scene say they saw Dustin J Garland, 31, standing under the drone as it was flying and then walking away when the drone started to crash.

Deputies arrested Garland and then examined the contents of the package the drone was carrying. Authorities state the package contained illegal narcotics including Suboxone strips, Suboxone pills, Schedule II Oxycodone pills, and loose smoking tobacco.

Officials say Garland is being charged with one count of Introduction of Contraband into a Penal Facility as well as one count of Flying a Drone over a Government Infrastructure. An investigation is still ongoing, and other charges might be added.

Authorities say Garland was booked into the Washington County Detention Center and is scheduled for arraignment in Sessions Court Monday afternoon.

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