Jury selection starts in prison contraband drone case

Jurors are being selected for the trial of a Maryland man accused of planning to use a drone to fly drugs, tobacco and pornography into a maximum-security state prison.

Jury selection began Thursday in Cumberland after a judge denied a defense motion to dismiss the case against 25-year-old Thaddeus Shortz of Knoxville, who faces drug, contraband and weapons charges.

Shortz contended that police illegally searched the pickup truck in which they found the remote-controlled aircraft and packages of prescription narcotics, synthetic marijuana and pornographic videos in August. Police say a recovered handgun was too heavy to have been carried by the drone.

Shortz and Keith Russell of Silver Spring were arrested outside a complex containing two maximum-security prisons near Cumberland. Inmate Charles Brooks was indicted in September.