This story is over 5 years old.


Someone Used a Drone to Deliver a Handgun Into a Notorious Canadian Prison

This isn't the first security breach at a Quebec jail. Last year, a helicopter landed on a recreation yard at another prison. Three prisoners escaped and eluded cops for two weeks before being caught.
Justin Ling
Montreal, CA
A jail in Australia/Image via Flickr Creative Commons

Authorities in a Quebec prison found out on Sunday that one of their prisoners was likely armed with a handgun, thanks to a delivery from a drone on Saturday.

According to a report in Quebec newspaper La Presse, somebody used a drone to make an illegal delivery to the Rivière-des-Prairies prison, which sits on the Eastern edge of Montreal island, over the weekend. Sources who spoke anonymously to La Presse said the drone dropped a handgun in sector S-2 — which houses the prison's convicted mafiosos and biker gang members — and the prison didn't find out about the delivery until a day later.


Guards from nearby jails were called in to help search for the gun on Sunday and all staff were required to wear bulletproof vests during the search. All inmates in the sector were confined to their cells.

The list of inmates at Rivière-des-Prairies is one of the more notorious in the country. Several of the alleged mafia and gang leaders arrested last month as part of a massive police bust are housed at the penitentiary.

Also incarcerated at the jail is Luka Magnotta, the Ontario native who was captured in Europe after he posted a video online of himself dismembering a body. Parts of that body were mailed to two Canadian political parties, and two elementary schools.

The prison is the most violent in the province, partly thanks to the criminals housed there, but also thanks to an overcrowding problem.

Related: This Lawsuit Claims Canada Has Been Abusing Mentally Ill Prisoners

Despite that, a National Post report cites the prison's architects, saying that the jail is "a warm and friendly environment which simultaneously incorporates principles of security, efficiency and respect for inmates."

A request for comment sent to the union which represents the guards at the jail went unanswered.

This isn't the first security breach at a Quebec jail in recent years. In 2014, a helicopter landed on a recreation yard at a prison near Quebec City. Three prisoners escaped on the helicopter and eluded cops for two weeks, before finally being apprehended in an upscale condo in Montreal's Old Port.

After that jailbreak, the Quebec government moved to institute no-fly zones over several of the province's prisons.

Drones have been used to deliver contraband before. One incident near a federal jail in Kingston resulted in a cell phone and some tobacco landing on the prison yard there.

Follow Justin Ling on Twitter: @justin_ling

Image via Flickr Creative Commons user OZinOH