A prison guard been put behind bars after accepting money from drug dealers to sneak drugs into jail.
Jack Nichols had nearly 200g of cannabis resin in the glovebox of his car when he arrived for work at HMP Stocken in August 2019.
He was caught out by a sniffer dog and a search of his vehicle revealed two blocks of the class B drug wrapped in clingfilm, ready to be smuggled in his trousers.
A further 100g of cannabis resin was found hidden in a cell at the prison in Rutland, East Midlands, which had been sneaked in previously.
Investigations revealed Nichols, 29, had been paid £4,000 by inmate Joe Baggaley to smuggle the contraband past his colleagues at the prison gates.
He had started sneaking in tobacco to make money to pay off debts but then it escalated to smuggling in illegal drugs, which sell for about 10 times as much in jail compared to on the street.
Baggaley’s friend on the outside, James Hanks, was involved in collecting the drug from dealer Ivan Freeman-Lunt in Liverpool to give to Nichols.
Another man, Mitchell Dytiche, was convicted with them all after he was found to be involved in the bank transfers.
All five men, who had previously pleaded guilty to their involvement, were sentenced at Leicester Crown Court yesterday.
Nichols, from Grantham, Lincolnshire, was jailed for one year and four months for conspiracy to supply class B drugs, possession with intent to supply class B drugs, and conveying a prohibited item into prison
Baggaley, 23, got a further three years imprisonment – to run after his current term ends – for conspiracy to supply a class B drug
Freeman-Lunt, 42, from Liverpool, got two years and one month imprisonment for conspiracy to supply a class B drug.
Dytiche, 24, of, Smallthorne, Staffordshire, got a 20 month sentence, suspended for two years, for conspiracy to supply a class B drug.
Hanks, 25, from Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, got 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, plus a 20-day rehabilitation order, for conspiracy to supply a class B drug
Detective Inspector Dan Evans said: ‘On the street, this haul was worth just over £3,055, but behind bars drugs are much more valuable.
‘We estimated these men could have made in excess of £30,000 from the blocks we seized.
‘And not just that, the rivalry that can come from the vying for such illicit commodities by inmates can have serious repercussions for the stability of the prison environment.’
Prison governor Neil Thomas OBE said: ‘HMP Stocken will not tolerate corruption in any form and works in partnership with the police to bring to account all those who attempt to supply contraband into our prisons.
‘The sentence imposed by the court today will be welcomed by our hardworking and courageous staff, whose safety is undermined by the dishonest actions of a small number of corrupt individuals.’
There will be further court hearings to seize any criminal gains made though the operation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
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