Italy Busts Group that Supplied Prisoners with Drugs, Weapons, Phones via Drones

Published: 21 March 2024

DJI Phantom 4K drone in actionThe drones were modified by this organization so that they could fly over military sites with a lot of weight. (Photo: Suyash Dwivedi, Wikimedia, License)

By Lieth Carrillo

Italian authorities have announced the arrest of 31 suspected members of a group that utilized drones to deliver phones, weapons, or drugs to incarcerated mobsters, including those in maximum-security prisons. The group catered to 15 mafia-style organizations affiliated with or closely linked to the notorious Camorra.

An investigation was initiated in 2021 following the discovery of mobile phones in cells at the Secondigliano prison in Naples. Shortly after, a shooting occurred within the Frosinone prison, located southeast of Rome. Investigators successfully identified the individual responsible for delivering the weapon via drone, as well as his accomplices.

Additionally, a 52-year-old man who specialized in modifying drones for the group, enabling them to carry heavier loads and fly over military installations, was identified, according to the statement issued on Tuesday.

"The ongoing investigation has revealed the full extent of the criminal network capable of supplying various types of phones and significant quantities of narcotics to various penitentiary facilities throughout the country, including those housing inmates classified as high-security," stated the Italian police.

The group served regional criminal organizations associated with or closely connected to the Camorra, one of Italy's oldest mafia organizations based in the Campania region and its capital, Naples.

The suspects were apprehended in Naples on charges of mafia association, drug trafficking, possession of illegal firearms, and other offenses.