Pigeons being Used To Smuggle Drugs Into Prisons

A pigeon with a tiny backpack strapped to its back was caught smuggling drugs into a prison in British Columbia.

By Brian Scheid | Published

pigeons smuggling drugs

The use of animals is generally a common method of smuggling drugs, but that is what happened at the Pacific Institution in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where back in December, a pigeon was caught with 30 grams of methamphetamine in a tiny backpack strapped to its back.

Drug Dealers stereotypically use whatever means necessary to create a supply line for their drugs to get to the marketplace. Using drug “mules” in the smuggling business is a common practice to transport narcotics across international borders or into highly secure areas like prisons, and they mostly come in the form of visitors, mail, drones, or corrupted prison staff members.   

The most lucrative drug market on the planet is on the inside of any government prison facilities because inmates will pay exorbitant prices for a temporary distortion of their reality. And could you blame them, it is a hard reality to wrap your mind around the fact that most of them are spending large chunks of their lives in these institutions with all their freedoms being restricted. If any scenario was conducive to constantly needing an escape from reality, this would be the environment for that type of substance abuse to persist, considering this the drug smuggling pigeon method becomes far less surprising.  

According to Vice, “pigeons also have a long history of transporting drugs—and also wearing tiny backpacks, apparently.” In an article in the New York Times dated February 2, 1930, they describe a problem that was occurring down by the southern border where pigeons had been discovered carrying capsules of cocaine tied to their legs. The report also mentions that smugglers had begun raising this breed of homing pigeons to avert border patrol agents so they could get their drugs to the American drug market.  

Pigeons have had a long history of transporting things for humans, most notably messages during times of war prior to radio signal communications.  These pigeons have the capability of flying upwards of 700 miles on any given day and can return to where they started their journey which makes them a reusable source of transportation.  Back in 2017, a homing pigeon was captured on the border between Iraq and Kuwait carrying 178 pills in a tiny backpack which was reported by the publication Al Arabiya. It was discovered by Kuwaiti border officials near their customs operation in that area, and the pills were identified as either ketamine or ecstasy.

In the British Columbia case officers at the prison facility noticed a tiny package attached to the back of a pigeon that had landed in one of the inmate yards.  The officers then slowly cornered the pigeon which was a lot easier said than done. It took quite a bit of time, but eventually, they were able to get a hold of the bird and check the backpack which contained the 30 grams of meth.

It’s certainly interesting to imagine watching the officers trying to corral the pigeon in the yard. It would have been hysterical if it was captured on video and could have been the next big viral hit on the internet.

Thankfully, the bird was not harmed in this altercation and was set free by the guards after the contraband was seized. The Corrections Department in Canada is currently investigating the incident further to see if they can identify the people responsible for the attempted smuggling.