SAO PAULO — Inmates have devised an innovative way to smuggle in cell phones into a prison farm in Brazil: carrier pigeons.
Guards at the Danilio Pinheiro prison near Sorocaba noticed a pigeon resting on an electric wire with a small cloth bag tied to one of its legs last week.
“The guards nabbed the bird after luring it down with some food and discovered components of a small cell phone inside the bag,” police investigator Celso Soramiglio said Tuesday.
One day later, another pigeon was spotted dragging a similar bag inside the prison’s exercise yard. Inside the bag was the cell phone’s charger, Soramiglio said.
The birds were apparently bred and raised inside the prison, smuggled out, outfitted with the cell phone parts and then released to fly back.
In 2006, Sao Paulo’s notorious First Capital Command used cell phones to coordinate a wave of assaults on police, banks and buses that left more than 200 people dead in South America’s largest city.
The gang’s leaders are based in prisons, and use smuggled cell phones to plan and execute drug deals, kidnappings and bank robberies.