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3 face charges related to drone drops delivering drugs to Ohio prisons




A drone that was discovered at the Toledo Correctional Institution. (Photo Credit: OSHP)

Three individuals have been indicted on a total of 116 counts of conveyance-related charges following an investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Office of Investigative Services and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction’s Chief Inspector’s Office.

The suspects, Robert A. Faulkner, Cory A. Sutphin, and Charles Gibbs, allegedly utilized drones to transport illegal drugs, phones, and other contraband onto the grounds of several Ohio correctional institutions.

The investigation began on May 28, 2021, when a drone carrying contraband was discovered within the perimeter fence of the Toledo Correctional Institution.

The investigation spanned several months, during which troopers and investigators identified the three suspects and executed a search warrant at Faulkner’s Columbus residence on November 16, 2021.

Items seized during the search warrant of Robert A. Faulkner’s Columbus residence. (Photo Credit: OSHP)

There, they found and seized $319,820 worth of illegal drugs, weapons, cell phones, and other contraband believed to be intended for future conveyance operations at correctional institutions across the state.

On April 7, 2023, the three suspects were indicted on various charges, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, trafficking and possession of cocaine and a fentanyl-related compound, possession of criminal tools, aggravated possession of drugs, and having weapons under disability.

If convicted, Faulkner faces a maximum of 142 years in prison, Sutphin faces a maximum of 69 years in prison, and Gibbs faces a maximum of 83 years and six months in prison.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction and the Ohio State Highway Patrol urge anyone with information regarding illegal acts of contraband conveyance into Ohio prisons to call 833-DRC-TIPS.

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