ORANGE (CBSLA) — A man faces charges Thursday of trying to use a drone to smuggle drugs into the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange.
Chey Cody Smart, 43, of Costa Mesa, was arrested Tuesday after investigators with the Orange County sheriff’s Custody Intelligence Unit traced a drone back to his home.
“The Custody Intelligence Unit is extremely proactive in intercepting narcotics attempting to come into our jails,” Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said in a statement. “They have adopted an investigative strategy that includes locating the outside entities attempting to bring narcotics into our facilities, and this case is a great example of that work.”
The drone was found by investigators after it landed in an outdoor recreation area of the jail. It had been carrying 2 grams of heroin, 4 grams of methamphetamine, about 15 Xanax pills, and approximately 15 muscle relaxers, according to sheriff’s officials.
After investigators identified a possible suspect in Costa Mesa, authorities say they searched his home and seized illegal firearms, fentanyl, and a controller determined to be paired with the drone that landed at Theo Lacy. The suspect, identified as Smart, was also found to be found in possession of a stolen vehicle, had been renting his home using fraudulent identification, officials said. Materials associated with identity theft and fraudulent criminal activity were also recovered at the home.
Smart is being held on $227,500 bail and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday on several drug and firearms charges, plus a count of grand theft. He was also determined to have a warrant for his arrest out of Mendocino County for felony weapons charges.