Two men who used a drone to fly drugs into The Mount prison in Bovingdon have together been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.
Tomas Natalevicius, aged 35, of no fixed address and Dalius Zilinskas, aged 33, of Grange Road, London, were arrested in a field near to the prison in the early hours of Thursday, October 13 last year.
Officers, who were conducting patrols around the prison as part of an operation in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, had spotted the drone flying in the direction of the prison.
When arrested the pair were found to have a black holdall with them which contained a Samsung tablet, white string, a battery pack and a drone controller.
The drone was traced to the prison and a subsequent search of cells recovered the drone, a small package of cocaine, a large cling film wrapped package containing cannabis and other contraband items such as mobile phones.
Detective Constable Jim Miller, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Specialist Investigation Team, said: “Analysis of the tablet that Natalevicius and Zilinskas had with them when arrested showed that they had saved a flight log just minutes before their arrest, which took the drone from a field in Bovingdon directly to the prison.
“It was concluded that the aircraft had flown over the prison where it came to rest in the grounds and was subsequently recovered by inmates.”
Both men pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs at Luton Crown Court on November 18 last year.
Natalevicius was also linked to a drone which had crashed outside Pentonville Prison on August 14, 2016 and he was subsequently charged with conspiracy to supply drugs into the prison, which he also pleaded guilty to.
At Luton Crown Court on Friday, May 12, Natalevicius was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison, while Zilinskas was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.
DC Miller added: “I hope the sentences send out a clear message to offenders that we will locate, arrest and bring to justice those who attempt to sneak drugs and contraband items into prisons.
“This type of crime has a massive impact on the prison community, undermining the rehabilitation of offenders and supports on-going criminality within prisons.
“Hertfordshire Constabulary will continue to work with the Metropolitan Police, the Prison Service and other partners to bring those who commit this type of crime to justice.”
The sentences for Natalevicius and Zilinskas come just a few weeks after two other men were jailed for also smuggling in drugs by drone to The Mount.