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Texas inmate faces drug trafficking charges related to drone drops in prison yard

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A Texas prison inmate serving time for robbery and burglary now faces federal charges in connection with using a drone to make prison yard drops 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 prohibited items he attempted to smuggle inside prisons include cell phones, authorities said.

He appeared in federal court this week, the Justice Department said Friday.

“I hope this indictment resonates with others who may want to smuggle contraband into our secure facilities. TDCJ will continue to work closely with the Office of Inspector General and federal authorities to combat criminal enterprises behind the prison walls,” said the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Executive Director Bryan Collier.

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Wright is one of 42 people indicted on multiple counts of conspiracy to distribute drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine, and synthetic marijuana; money laundering, firearms violations, operating an aircraft to further drug trafficking and other offenses.

Investigators seized multiple amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, “M30” fentanyl pills, and synthetic marijuana. In addition, $150,000 in cash, jewelry, and vehicles have been seized.

Wright was already serving 30 years for aggravated robbery and another eight years for burglary in Dallas County, the TDCJ said.

He faces up to life in prison on the new charges. Another Texas man was arrested earlier this month for allegedly flying a drone loaded with drugs, stolen cell phones and mp3 players into a Fort Worth prison yard.

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