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This photo shows a Yuneec Typhoon drone and controller Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, in Jessup, Md. Maryland State Police and prison officials say two men planned to use the drone to smuggle drugs, tobacco and pornography videos into the maximum-security Western Correctional Institution near Cumberland, Md. Police arrested the men with the drone, the materials and a handgun in a vehicle Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/David Dishneau)

Trials set for 3 accused in prison drone smuggling case

CUMBERLAND — Trial dates have been set for three men accused of trying to use a small, remote-controlled aircraft to smuggle drugs, tobacco and pornography into a maximum-security state prison in western Maryland.

Twenty-five-year-old Thaddeus Shortz of Knoxville and 43-year-old inmate Charles Brooks entered pleas of not guilty at their initial appearances Tuesday in Allegany County Circuit Court. Brooks’ trial is scheduled for Dec. 30. Shortz’ is set for Jan. 14.

Twenty-nine-year-old Keith Russell of Silver Spring pleaded not guilty last month and faces trial Jan. 7.

All three are charged in what police say was a plot to fly the contraband on Aug. 22 into the Western Correctional Institution near Cumberland, about 120 miles west of Baltimore .

Attorneys for the defendants declined to comment on the allegations.