Police launch probe after package containing £50k of drugs and cigarettes thrown into Leeds prison

Specialist prison crime detectives are investigating after a package containing drugs and mobile phones worth £50,000 was thrown into the grounds of a Leeds prison.

Friday, 12th July 2019, 10:43 am
The package contents.

The huge haul was discovered by staff at HMP Wealstun on July 3 while checking the perimeter for items thrown over the outer fence.

The package included a number of smaller packages containing around 1,000 pills, believed to be Class A and Class B drugs, 40 sheets of A4 paper thought to be soaked in the synthetic cannabinoid Spice, a bottle of yellow liquid thought to be Spice, steroids, needles and syringes, 12 mobile phones, phone chargers, sim cards, and pouches of tobacco.

The items have been sent for forensic testing, West Yorkshire Police said in a statement.

The contents of the package have an estimated prison value of more than £50,000.

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Sergeant Kevin Hussey, of Leeds District Prison Crime Team, said: “Drugs, phones and other contraband fuel violence in prisons and present significant risks both to staff and to inmates.

“The contents of this package had the potential to cause a great deal of harm within the prison but thankfully it was intercepted before that could happen.

“We are now carrying out enquiries to identify those responsible and will continue to work closely with our colleagues in the Prison Service to detect and deter other similar attempts.”

Governor Diane Lewis said: “This is a substantial find that gives some idea of the level of organised crime involved in smuggling illicit articles into prison establishments. We continue to be vigilant at all times to stopping this criminal activity, working with our partners in West Yorkshire Police and others in the intelligence community.

“Criminal gangs treat this as a business but we have to deal with the human side of this every day. Every time something like this successfully gets into the establishment it leads to debt, increased levels of self-harm, then serious assaults and can put lives at risk. Prison staff and our police colleagues are doing a fantastic job to intercept packages like this on a regular basis and disrupt the criminal gangs.”