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New NC law makes it crime to fly drones near prisons, jails

It’s now a crime in North Carolina to fly a drone near prisons and jails.

A new law prohibits anyone but law enforcement officials from flying drones within 250 feet above or 500 feet around prisons and jails. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the law Aug. 1.

Using a drone to deliver weapons or other contraband can result in felony charge. People who just fly drones near prisons can face a misdemeanor.

Officials say drones have twice crashed within prison fences in North Carolina. In both cases, prison staff members recovered the drones’ contraband before it reached prisoners.

South Carolina prison leaders say they know of five cases in which drones have dropped contraband. In June, an inmate used tools dropped by a drone to escape from Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville.

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