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Police operation foils prison drugs plot

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Police operation foils prison drugs plot

Two more offenders have been sentenced after cops smashed a plot to get drugs into a prison.

Ashley Haywood and Gemma Beeby were involved in conspiring to supply drugs into HMP Ranby by plotting to throw them over into the prison grounds.

Detectives identified the pair as being involved in a wider conspiracy after a complex investigation was launched which discovered drug-soaked letters had been sent into the prison.

On April 16 2020 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 29-year-old Carla Fitzgerald who asked for the letters to be printed.

Staff at HMP Ranby intercepted mail addressed to a serving prisoner at the time, 36-year-old Shane Smith who was then Fitzgerald’s partner, 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 they were sentenced on 23 July 2021.

Smith, formerly 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.

The police investigation discovered Smith had been in communication with his brother, Ashley Haywood, and his ex-girlfriend, Gemma Beeby, between April and June 2020. Both were identified as co-conspirators to supply drugs into the prison.

Warrants were executed at Haywood’s and Beeby’s homes, on 11 August 2020, resulting in their arrests and both were subsequently charged.

The pair appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on 12 August having pleaded guilty to conspiring to convey a prohibited article into prison.

Haywood also pleaded guilty to being in possession of a Class B drug after a quantity of cannabis was recovered from his home address during a search.

Haywood, of Cranwell Road, Strelley, and Beeby, of Eastwood, each received 18-month prison sentences, suspended for two years.

In addition, Haywood was also ordered to observe a curfew between 8pm and 6am for a period of six months.

Detective Constable Gemma Patterson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Evidence showed Smith and Haywood conspired with Smith’s ex-partner Beeby to throw a package containing drugs over the fence and into the prison grounds.

“While we don’t believe the throw actually went ahead, thanks to some great work on the investigation involving multiple police departments, we were still able to secure charges.

“As a force we continue to work hard to prevent and disrupt the supply of illegal drugs in our communities.

"I hope our success in this particular case and failure of this plot acts as a strong deterrent to others and prevents similar incidents from happening in the future.”

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Nottinghamshire Police
Sherwood Lodge, Arnold
NG5 8PP Nottinghamshire,
United Kingdom