Houston man pleads guilty to trying to use drone to drop contraband into Beaumont prison

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Wednesday, November 9, 2022
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BEAUMONT, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston man accused of flying a drone with the intention of dropping contraband into the Beaumont Federal Prison Complex pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal violations.

Davien Phillip Turner, also known as Davien Phillip Mayo, 44, is accused of owning or operating a drone that is not registered.

The Department of Justice said that on May 19, law enforcement officials in Jefferson County were alerted that a person was operating a drone on the prison property.

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Officers responded and eventually found Turner in the area, officials said.

Law enforcement also found a DJI Matrice 600 Pro drone and several bags that Turner allegedly planned to drop into the prison complex using the drone.

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

Department of Justice officials believe the items were intended to be sold by inmates within the prison.

Under federal aviation laws, the type of drone the suspect is accused of operating is required to be registered with the FAA. Turner's drone was not.

Pilots are also required to have a certificate to operate a drone under these circumstances, which Turner had not obtained.

Turner was indicted on July 12, according to the Department of Justice. He faces up to three years in federal prison.