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Bill would keep drones away from Missouri prisons

02-11-2019


T. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are expected to consider legislation to restrict the use of drones near state prisons after recent sightings sparked concern among corrections officials that weapons or drugs were being dropped inside the grounds.

Republican Rep. Mike Henderson introduced a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for anyone to knowingly fly a drone within 300 vertical feet (90 meters) and near the furthest perimeter of prisons. The legislation would also add felony charges for attempting to drop contraband into state prison grounds.

The Missouri Department of Corrections has reported 11 drone sightings near state prisons since 2016, but there have been no confirmed cases of dropped contraband, according to agency spokeswoman Karen Pojmann.

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