Mum led gang who used drones to drop £1m of drugs and phones into prison yards

A gang of dealers utilised drones to smuggle around £1m worth of contraband into prisons, including the troubled Welsh prison HMP Parc.

The group was led by 47 year old mother Lucy Adcock, who organised 22 drops in a month across six British jails before her arrest in a Premier Inn car park, Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, heard

Prosecutor Matthew Cobbe said staff at Parc in Bridgend found a dropped package on April 24 last year containing illicit items worth £50,000 on the prison market including Class A and B drugs as well as mobile phones, reports WalesOnline.

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The drone operator was not identified but in the early hours of May 11 two more packages were recovered from the Parc exercise yard. Police were alerted and automatic number-plate recognition was used to identify vehicles in the area at the time. "It wasn’t long before Lucy Adcock’s car was traced," said Mr Cobbe.

"She had driven down from the London area and she was stopped in the car park of the Premier Inn in Bridgend by officers later that day. She had a drone in the car with her. In fact the drone had software that could be downloaded and examined.

"The examination revealed that it had been used not just during the early hours of that morning to deliver drugs to Parc prison but it had been used on many previous occasions and other prisons across the country."

In the month up to May 11 the group had flown drones 22 times over five other prisons – Gartree in Leicestershire, Onley in Warwickshire, Guys Marsh in Shaftesbury, High Down in Sutton, and the Mount in Hemel Hempstead. Analysis of Adcock's phone led to police arresting Craig Davenport, Ryan Dorland, Nicola Ogle, and Emma Watson, all of whom admitted involvement in the conspiracy.

Mr Cobbe said the group attached fishhooks to the packages to make them easier to grab from inside a jail cell. A sheet would be thrown out to snag onto the package and draw it in.

Packages recovered included cocaine, the opioid Subutex, the anabolic steroid Oxandrolone, the painkiller Phenacetin, cannabis resin, sheets of A4 paper soaked in the synthetic cannabinoid spice, iPhones, sim cards, charger cables, and tobacco. It was estimated the group supplied items with a total prison market value of £1,099,670 to £1,426,150.

The prosecutor said Adcock "played the leading role both directing the others and taking a hands-on role". Adcock, 47, of Great Central Avenue in Ruislip, London, and Davenport, 46, of Carisbrooke Avenue in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, and Dorland, 44, recently of HMP Brixton, were sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to a conspiracy to convey A-list and B-list items into prison, with A-list being the most serious type, although Dorland maintained he was not aware there were Class A drugs among the material that went over prison walls.

Judge Paul Hobson jailed Adcock for six years, Davenport for four years and nine months, and Dorland for four years. Ogle and Watson are due to be sentenced at a later date.

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