Prison officer paid £4k to smuggle cannabis into lock-up caught by sniffer dogs

A prison officer has been jailed after he was caught smuggling cannabis into the prison where he worked.

Jack Nichols, 29, was paid almost £4,000 to smuggle the drug into HMP Stocken in Rutland, by inmate Joe Baggaley, 23.

The drugs were discovered by sniffer dogs in Nichols’s trousers during a routine search in August 2019, the Sun reports.

Two blocks of resin wrapped in clingfilm were also found in the glove box of the officer’s car, while more drugs were discovered in his bedside table at home.

Baggaley’s friend on the outside, James Hanks, 25, helped collect the narcotics from Ivan Freeman-Lunt, 42, while Mitchell Dytiche, 24, was involved in the bank transfers, with all five men pleading guilty to their involvement.

Baggaley was described as the “coordinator” and “organiser” and was jailed for an additional three years on top of his current sentence, while Freeman-Lunt was sentenced to two years and one month behind bars.

Dytiche was handed a 20 months’ sentence and Hanks 18 months, both suspended for two years.

East Midlands Special Operations Unit’s (EMSOU) Regional Prisons Intelligence Detective Inspector, Dan Evans, said: "On the street, this haul was worth just over £3,055, but behind bars drugs are much more valuable.

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"We estimated these men could have made in excess of £30,000 from the blocks we seized.

"What, according to Nichols, began as a means of paying off debt by bringing a bit of tobacco into the prison – a crime in itself – quickly spiralled down a slippery slope into drug trafficking.

"As an employee, he has breached trust and compromised the safety of his colleagues and those they are tasked with managing."

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."

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