Six Indicted in Alleged Drone Prison Smuggling Scheme

KANSAS CITY, KAN.– A federal grand jury in Kansas City returned an indictment charging six people with conspiring to smuggle contraband into a federal prison in Kansas.

Dale Gaver III, 35, Dale Gaver II, 54, Joshua Hamilton, 37, and Rex Hill, 33, all of Omaha, Nebraska, are charged with one count of conspiracy to provide and possess contraband in prison. Additionally, Melvin Edwards, 44, and Tamarae Hollman, 36, of Riverside, California, are charged with one count of conspiracy to provide and possess contraband in prison.

According to court documents, between August 2020 and May 2021, Edwards, Gaver II, Gaver III, Hamilton, Hill, and Hollman are accused of conspiring to smuggle prohibited items into Leavenworth Penitentiary by allegedly using a drone to drop contraband such as cellular phones, K2 (synthetic cannabinoid), marijuana, and tobacco into the yard.

Hill is also charged with one count of attempting to provide prison contraband. Gaver III, an inmate at Leavenworth Penitentiary during the conspiracy time frame, is also charged with one count of attempted possession of prison contraband and one count of possession of prison contraband.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle McFarlane is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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