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A Texas prison inmate serving time for theft and burglary is now facing federal charges related to using a drone to bring down the prison yard to smuggle drugs and contraband into a correctional facility.
Yeshmel James Wright, 35, of Dallas, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana. Other contraband he has attempted to smuggle inside prisons include cellphones, authorities said.
He appeared in federal court this week, the Justice Department announced Friday.
“I hope this indictment will resonate with others who may want to smuggle contraband through our secure facilities. TDCJ will continue to work closely with the Office of Inspector General and federal authorities to fight criminal enterprises behind prison walls,” the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said. Executive Director Bryan Collier.
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Wright is one of 42 people charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to distribute drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine and synthetic marijuana; money laundering, firearms offences, operating an aircraft to facilitate drug trafficking and other offences.
Investigators seized several quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, “M30” fentanyl pills and synthetic marijuana. In addition, $150,000 in cash, jewelry and vehicles were seized.
Wright was already serving 30 years for aggravated robbery and an additional eight years for burglary in Dallas County, the TDCJ said.
He faces life in prison for the new charges. Another Texas man was arrested earlier this month for allegedly flying a drone loaded with drugs, prepaid cell phones and mp3 players into a Fort Worth prison yard.
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