4 arrested trying to smuggle contraband into jail using remote-controlled helicopter

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A prison lieutenant says he caught four men from metro Atlanta flying contraband into a south Georgia prison.
CALHOUN COUNTY, Ga. —

A prison lieutenant says he caught four people from metro Atlanta flying contraband into a south Georgia prison.

The sheriff told Channel 2 Action News that two men from Gwinnett County, and two people from DeKalb County traveled to a prison in southwest Georgia and used a remote-controlled helicopter to sneak tobacco to prisoners.

A lieutenant from the Calhoun state prison noticed a small helicopter hovering over the gates and a search of the area began.

Sheriff Josh Hilton says about an hour later deputies noticed a suspicious black car with Gwinnett County tags.

"After we gained consent to search the car we found the helicopter and I don't know exactly how much it was but probably about 1 to 2 pounds of tobacco rolled up," Hilton said.

All four suspects are from the metro Atlanta area. Marc Circle and Angel Thomas are from Decatur. Aaron Foster and Donavan Johnson are from Snellville.

"Everybody had several cell phones with different contacts," Hilton said.

Hilton says people try different things to get contraband to inmates, but the helicopter was something he had never heard of.

"It is a surprise. I've never seen a helicopter. They were in the woods flying it. They had binoculars, evidently, so they could watch it," Hilton said.

Investigators say the group had made two drops before they were caught, but prison officials recovered those items.

All four men have bonded out of jail.

It is a felony to cross prison guard lines with contraband. If convicted the four could face up to 20 years in prison.

The sheriff told Channel 2 Action News that Circle is also a registered sex offender.