Drone Sightings Spark Lockdowns at Vaughn Prison Near Smyrna - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Drone Sightings Spark Lockdowns at Vaughn Prison Near Smyrna

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The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Del. is shown Feb. 1, 2017, the date when a deadly inmate riot started. (Photo: AP) The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Del. is shown Feb. 1, 2017, the date when a deadly inmate riot started. (Photo: AP)

SMYRNA, Del.- A pair of drone flights over the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna this week have twice sparked lockdowns at the state's maximum-security prison.

Delaware Department of Correction Spokeswoman Jayme Gravell said one incident occurred on Wednesday and another one happened Thursday night.

"We can’t share additional information while the investigation is ongoing," she said.

Gravell would not comment on the subject of whether the drones could be used to deliver contraband to inmates behind the walls of the prison, which was the site of an February 2017 inmate riot that saw the death of a correctional officer.

Delaware law prohibits drones from being flown over "critical infrastructure," a category that includes correctional facilities.

Additionally, federal regulations prohibit commercial drone pilots from flying an unmanned aerial system at night without a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration. 

The FAA also prohibits drone pilots from dropping objects from drones in a reckless or careless manner so as to endanger someone or someone's property or to drop objects in a manner that would create undue hazard to a person or property.

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