- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) - The second of three defendants has been sentenced to five years in prison for trying to fly contraband into a maximum-security state prison aboard a drone aircraft.

Thirty-year-old Keith Russell of Silver Spring was sentenced Tuesday in Cumberland. He pleaded guilty in February to attempted delivery of contraband tobacco, rolling papers and a cellphone.

Both sides said Russell was a minor player in a plan by fellow ex-convict Thaddeus Shortz and inmate Charles Brooks to smuggle contraband over the 12-foot fence around the Western Correctional Institution near Cumberland.

Russell and Shortz were arrested near the prison in August. Police found the drone and packages containing drugs, pornography, tobacco and a cellphone in Shortz’ pickup truck.

Brooks was sentenced last month to 13 years. Shortz is scheduled for sentencing April 12.


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