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47-year-old mother sentenced to six years in prison for leading gang that used drones to smuggle £1 million worth of drugs into prisons



A mother has been sentenced to six years in prison for leading a gang that used drones to smuggle £1 million worth of drugs into prisons.

Lucy Adcock, a 47-year-old mother from London, was the ringleader of the group, who organised 22 drug raids in six British prisons over the course of a month before being arrested in a car park, Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Matthew Cobbe said staff at Parc in Bridgend found a lost package on April 24 last year containing £50,000 worth of illegal items traded on the prison market, including Class A and B drugs and mobile phones.

The drone pilot could not be identified, but in the early hours of May 11, two more packages were seized at the Parc’s training area.

The police were alerted and automatic license plate recognition was used to identify the vehicles in the area at the time.

“It didn’t take long for Lucy Adcock’s car to be tracked down,” said Mr Cobbe.

Lucy Adcock (pictured), a 47-year-old mother from London, was the ringleader of the group, organising 22 raids on six UK prisons over the course of a month before being arrested in a car park, Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard.
Analysis of Adcock’s phone led to the police arrest of Craig Davenport (pictured), Ryan Dorland, Nicola Ogle and Emma Watson, who all admitted their involvement in the conspiracy.
The seized packages contained cocaine, the opioid Subutex, the anabolic steroid oxandrolone, the painkiller phenacetin, cannabis resin, A4 sheets of paper soaked in the synthetic cannabinoid Spice, iPhones, SIM cards, charging cables and tobacco. Pictured: Ryan Dorland

“She had travelled from the London area and was stopped by police in the car park of the Premier Inn in Bridgend later that day.

“She had a drone in her car. In fact, the drone had software that could be downloaded and examined.

“The investigation revealed that it had been used not only in the early hours of the morning to transport drugs to Parc prison, but also earlier and in other prisons across the country.”

In the month to May 11, the group flew drones 22 times over five other prisons – Gartree in Leicestershire, Onley in Warwickshire, Guys Marsh in Shaftesbury, High Down in Sutton and Mount in Hemel Hempstead.

Analysis of Adcock’s phone led to the police arrest of Craig Davenport, Ryan Dorland, Nicola Ogle and Emma Watson, all of whom admitted their involvement in the conspiracy.

Mr Cobbe said the group attached fishing hooks to the packages to make them easier to grab from a prison cell. A sheet was thrown out so that it would catch on the package and be pulled inside.

The seized packages contained cocaine, the opioid Subutex, the anabolic steroid oxandrolone, the painkiller phenacetin, cannabis resin, A4 sheets of paper soaked with the synthetic cannabinoid Spice, iPhones, SIM cards, charging cables and tobacco.

In the month up to May 11, the group had flown drones over five other prisons 22 times (stock photo)

It was estimated that the group supplied items with a total market value in prison of between £1,099,670 and £1,426,150.

The prosecutor said Adcock “played the primary role, both directing the others and taking an active role.”

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Adcock, from London, Davenport, 46, from Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, and Dorland, 44, were sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to transport Class A and Class B items into prison. Class A items are the most serious. However, Dorland insisted he had no knowledge that Class A drugs were among the materials smuggled through prison walls.

Judge Paul Hobson sentenced Adcock to six years in prison, Davenport to four years and nine months and Dorland to four years in prison.

Sentencing for Ogle and Watson is scheduled for a later date.

The case came after new no-fly zones were introduced around prisons in England and Wales earlier this year to prevent the use of drones to transport drugs and contraband to prisoners.

One case last year involved an organised criminal group using a drone to smuggle more than 20 packages containing drugs and mobile phones into HMP Risley in Warrington, Cheshire, between August and December 2020.