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Georgia men used toy helicopter in botched prison smuggling -police

By Eric M. Johnson

(Reuters) - Four men from the U.S. state of Georgia have been arrested after allegedly using a remote-controlled toy helicopter to smuggle contraband into a state prison, officials said.

An official at the medium-security Calhoun State Prison spotted the toy helicopter hovering close to the jail in the city of Morgan, about 170 miles south of Atlanta, on November 21, according to a contraband arrest report by the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Gordon County Sheriff's deputies searched a "suspicious vehicle" near the prison and found a laptop computer, three batteries and a remote control for the helicopter, nine mobile phones, and a large bundle of marijuana, the report said.

"I've never seen a helicopter (used before). They were in the woods flying it," Calhoun County Sheriff Josh Hilton told WSB-TV. "They had binoculars, evidently, so they could watch it."

Officials found the helicopter once they searched the vehicle, along with about one to two pounds of tobacco rolled up, Hilton said.

It was unclear what contraband breached prison walls.

The four Atlanta-area men, who made two drops of contraband that were later recovered by prison officials, were arrested and have been released on bail, WSB-TV reported.

The suspects admitted to operating the toy helicopter, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. It did not say if they had admitted to smuggling goods into the prison.

(Editing by Patrick Graham)

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