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B.C. prison officials seize drone, drugs, weapons at maximum-security institution

Prison security fencing is seen in this undated photo. ( Prison security fencing is seen in this undated photo. (

Prison officials in British Columbia say an aerial drone was part of a cache of contraband items seized this week at a maximum-security institution in the Fraser Valley.

The Correctional Service of Canada estimates the institutional value of the found items, which included handmade weapons, cannabis concentrates, cellphones and memory cards, at $124,600.

In a statement Thursday, the agency said prison staff uncovered the cache at Kent Institution in Agassiz on Sunday.

"The police have been notified and the institution is investigating," Kim MacPherson, the assistant warden of management services at the prison, said in the statement.

The Correctional Service of Canada says it uses a variety of tools to prevent drugs from being smuggled into its prisons, including ion scanners and drug-detecting dogs to search buildings, personal property, inmates, and visitors.

The agency has said for months that it is "heightening measures to prevent contraband from entering its institutions" in order to help ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone.

In January, staff at Kent discovered a cache of cellphones, cannabis concentrates and "various stabbing weapons," with an estimated institutional value of $17,800. A similar seizure at the prison in December was valued at $183,300.

An official in the warden's office was not immediately able to provide a breakdown of how the institutional value of items seized in prisons is calculated, though the value of such contraband inside prison walls is considerably higher than their street value.

Corrections officials maintain a telephone tip line for the public to report incidents of smuggling, drug use or other security concerns at all federal prisons. Tipsters can call the anonymous line toll-free at 1-866-780-3784. Top Stories

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