Tuesday 27 February 2024
8 C

Two sentenced over plans to send ‘drug-soaked’ letters into a Notts prison

A conspiracy to send drug-soaked letters to inmates at a Nottinghamshire prison was cracked thanks to a complex police investigation.

Shane Smith, 35, and Carla Fitzgerald, 27, were involved in conspiring to produce mail contaminated with spice and then sending it into HMP Ranby.

On April 16 last year police received a report from a solicitors firm in Leicestershire that someone had attempted to fraudulently print some paper off in their name using their company logo.

They had only found out about this when the printing company could not get hold of the original buyer for payment and contacted the solicitors firm directly, but they had no knowledge of the purchase.

Enquiries revealed it was Fitzgerald who asked for the letters to be printed.

Staff at HMP Ranby intercepted mail addressed to Smith, a serving prisoner who was Fitzgerald’s partner at the time, which tested positive for spice.

Other items of mail, addressed to other prisoners and sent in the same manner, were also recovered.

The investigation led to both being charged, and on Friday (23 July 2021) both were sentenced.

Smith, of King Street, Coalville, Leicestershire, was handed a four-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to causing someone to bring a prohibited list A article into prison.

Fitzgerald, of Basford Road, Basford, was handed a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to bringing a prohibited list A article into prison.

Detective Constable Gemma Patterson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This has been a complex investigation with different force departments, including CID, the Gedling Operation Reacher team, neighbourhood policing and tactical support group teams, all working closely together to help build the case.

“This successful operation shows how police and prison staff are very much alive to methods used to try and smuggle drugs into prisons and how they canwork effectively together to tackle the issue and bring offenders to justice.”