Drone-delivery defendant Thaddeus Shortz. (credit: Allegany County Sheriff’s Office )
A jury convicted a 25-year-old Tennessee man Friday for conspiring to smuggle—via a drone—illegal drugs, prescription drugs, pornography and tobacco into a Maryland maximum-security prison.
Thaddeus Shortz, 25, of Knoxville, was arrested in August outside the Western Correctional Institution in Maryland, where he was released in April. The authorities said they found a drone, and six packages of illicit contraband in his truck—worth about $35,000 in prison. An officer testified that the defendant, who faces decades in prison when sentenced later this month, admitted to using a drone to smuggle contraband into the prison about a half-dozen times before. A Maryland State police officer testified that the defendant got $4,000 a pop for each of his successful drops, and was “almost boastful about it.”

A 12-member jury deliberated a little more than two hours before convicting Shortz after a two-day trial. The defendant did not put on a defense.
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