Federal indictment for man who attempted to use drone to deliver contraband to prison

Bryant LeRay Henderson was arrested after attempting to deliver contraband to a Fort Worth Prison
Bryant LeRay Henderson was arrested after attempting to deliver contraband to a Fort Worth Prison(United States Department of Justice)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 11:09 AM CDT
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SMITHVILLE, Texas (KCBD) - Bryant LeRay Henderson, 42, was arrested Thursday and charged after attempting to deliver contraband to FMC Fort Worth, a federal correctional facility, on May 4th

According to court documents, Henderson flew a DJI Inspire drone carrying a package containing 46 grams of crystal methamphetamines, 87 grams of pressed THC, two prepaid phones, and nine MP3 players over the fence of FMC Fort Worth where it crashed in a secure, fenced-in yard. The drone was retrieved by prison staff who discovered the contents.

Law enforcement reviewed security footage from a nearby high school and observed Henderson drive up in a red Chevy Tahoe, remove a drone and package from the vehicle, then launched the drone towards the prison before driving off.

Authorities were able to pull the license plate number after identifying Henderson’s Tahoe from separate surveillance footage.

The vehicle was found, abandoned in a travel lane, two weeks later with Henderson’s debit card, a DJI drone controller, drone accessories, 18 smartphones, tobacco products, and vacuum-packed containers with steroid labels still in the vehicle.

Law enforcement was able to pair the controller to the recovered drone and discovered 70 fight logs with timestamps confirming flights into FMC Fort Worth, FCI Seagoville, and another federal correctional facility in southeast Dallas. FAA records confirm that the federal correction institutions are restricted flight areas.

It was also discovered that Henderson did not have an airman’s certification required by the FAA to pilot the drone.

“Contraband drone deliveries are quickly becoming the bane of prison officials’ existence. Illicit goods pose a threat to guards and inmates alike – and when it comes to cell phones, the threat often extends outside prison walls. We are determined to stop this trend in its tracks,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham.

Henderson is being charged with one count of attempting to provide contraband in prison, one count of serving as an airman without an airman’s certificate, and one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. If convicted he faces up to 45 years in prison.

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