ORANGE (CBSLA) — A man faces charges Thursday of trying to use a drone to smuggle drugs into the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange.
READ MORE: Suspect Arrested in Hit-And-Run Crash That Left Scooter Rider In Critical Condition
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. Smart and inmate Megan Elizabeth Donovan, 30, of Fountain Valley, have been charged with a felony count each of smuggling controlled substances into a correctional facility and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Smart also faces several other drug, weapons, theft, and identity theft charges.
“Bringing drugs into a custodial setting is not only illegal, it puts the lives of inmates at risk and jeopardizes the safety of deputies and other staff who work in those facilities,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement.
Prosecutors say Donovan used a jailhouse phone on Sunday to direct Smart on where to land the drone.READ MORE: Shooting Outside Pomona High School, 12-Year-Old Boy Transported With Non-Life-Threatening Injuries
The drone was found Tuesday by an inmate worker 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 appeared in court Thursday. He was also determined to have a warrant for his arrest out of Mendocino County for felony weapons charges. Prosecutors say he has a prior drug sales-related felony conviction. If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison, plus nearly six more years in Orange County Jail.MORE NEWS: Metro Bike Share Station Announces 12 New Stations Throughout Hollywood
Donovan was previously convicted in Orange County for bringing drugs into a correctional facility. She faces a maximum sentence of another five years in state prison.