COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) — Three men have been charged with delivering drugs and cell phones by drone to inmates in Ohio.

The investigation began in May 2021 when a drone containing contraband was found inside the fence at the Toledo Correctional Institution. That investigation led to the arrest of three suspects, Robert A. Faulkner, 33, of Columbus; Cory A. Sutphin, 28, of Grove City and Charles Gibbs, 33, of Sandusky.

Investigators with the Ohio State Patrol, which is the policing agency for state prisons, said the suspects used drones to fly in illegal drugs, phones and other contraband. Not only at the Toledo facility but also at Mansfield, Richland, and Ross correctional institutions, and the North Central Correctional Complex.

A search of Faulkner’s house in November 2021 revealed  $319,820 worth of illegal drugs, weapons, cell phones and contraband, which were seized. Troopers and investigators believe the contraband was going to be used in future drone operations at institutions across the state.

Faulkner, Stuphin and Gibbs were indicted in April. The indictment included 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.

The ODRC and the OSHP ask you to call 833-DRC-TIPS to report illegal acts of contraband conveyance into Ohio prisons. Tips can lead to a reward and more information can be found here.