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Houston man admits to trying to use drone to drop contraband in Beaumont prison, faces up to 3 years in federal prison

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
Credit: KBMT

BEAUMONT, Texas — A 44-year-old Houston man faces up to three years in federal prison after admitting to trying to use a drone to drop contraband into a Beaumont prison.

Davien Phillip Turner, also known as Davien Phillip Mayo, pled guilty Tuesday to owning or operating an unregistered drone before U.S. District Judge Marica A. Crone, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Texas release.

The incident happened on May 19, 2022. Law enforcement in Jefferson County were alerted that a suspect was operating a drone on the property of the Federal Correctional Complex in Beaumont.

Officers later found Turner in the area where the drone was being operated. Officers also found a DJI Matrice 600 Pre Drone and bags they believe Turner planned to drop into the prison complex near him, according to the release.

Inside those bags, officers found tobacco, cell phones, cell phone chargers, various tools, vape pens, and other items.

Officials believe those items were going to be sold by inmates within the prison.

Under federal law, the type of drone found near Turner was required to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. Turner had not done this, according to the release. 

A certificate was needed to operate the drone under the circumstances. Turner also did not have the certificate.

A federal grand jury indicted Turner on July 12, 2022. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case is being investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Aviation Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell James.

Prisons around the country have faced issues concerning individuals flying drones to drop contraband items into prisons.

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