Two New Jersey men, identified as Nicolo Denichilo, 38, and Adrian Goolcharran, 35 have been charged with using drones to sneak drugs and other contraband into a federal prison in Burlington County according to the US Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey.
The men are accused of smuggling marijuana, steroids, more than 160 cell phones, 150 SIM cards, 74 cell phone batteries and chargers, 35 syringes and two metal saw blades. into the low security Federal Correctional Institution – Fort Dix, New Jersey.
According to the March 13, 2020 statement issued by the DOJ “on March 7, 2020 an individual fitting Goolcharran’s description and another individual were captured by a surveillance camera carrying and flying a drone from a launch spot located in the woods outside of Fort Dix. Law enforcement also obtained evidence of Goolcharran bringing multiple drones to a store for repairs, including a broken drone shortly after the March 7, 2020 drone flight.
Denichilo’s fingerprint was obtained from a plastic bag recovered from one of the drone drops at Fort Dix. Goolcharran’s DNA was recovered from electrical tape found on the drone used in a July 2018 drop.
The Fort Dix prison officials also discovered an inmate near the drone drop site in possession of more than 30 cell phones and 50 SIM cards, among other phone equipment, the statement said.
In April 2019, authorities said local police pulled over Denichilo and Goolcharran less than five miles away from the prison on the same day another drone delivery was discovered.
In the DOJ release, authorities said they obtained evidence of at least seven drone deliveries since July 2018 at the prison. A fingerprint from Denichilo and DNA from Goolcharran was also recovered, the statement said.
The DOJ charged both men each with one count of smuggling contraband into the prison, and conspiring to smuggle contraband and defraud the United States.
The first count carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine, while the conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, plus a maximum fine of $250,000.