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Six people charged in weekend prison visitor contraband blitz

Issued: Wednesday 17 June 2015

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Visitors to the State's Correctional Centres have been put on notice after six people were charged during a state-wide contraband blitz on the weekend.

The security operation by Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) officers and K9 sniffer dogs resulted in four women and two men being charged with bringing drugs, mobile phones and accessories into NSW Correctional Centres.

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the operation demonstrated how visitors risk criminal charges by trying to smuggle banned goods to inmates.

"Any contraband that enters the prison environment – including illegal and prescription drugs – presents a major risk to the health, safety and security of inmates," Mr Severin said.

"This operation shows visitors trying to bring in contraband will be caught and face criminal charges as well as being refused entry."

CSNSW' Security Operations Group (SOG) conducted visitor searches at Goulburn, Cessnock, Long Bay, Bathurst and Mid North Coast Correctional Centres.

Corrections Minister David Elliott said, "Corrective Services NSW has never been more serious about preventing contraband from entering prisons, and visitors can be guaranteed specialist search teams are a regular presence through rolling operations at Centres around the State.

"In 2014, Security Operations Group officers and K9 teams conducted more than 103,000 visitor searches at correctional facilities across the State, resulting in 160 visitors being charged and 574 being denied entry.

"We'll continue to show absolutely no tolerance for contraband."

Commissioner Severin said, "Visitors caught bringing drugs to prisons face penalties of up to two years' imprisonment for trafficking drugs into a correctional centre. They could also face additional drug-related criminal charges."

Another penalty is a ban on visits of up to two years. 

WEEKEND DETAILS

At Goulburn Correctional Centre, a K9 sniffer dog detected an odour while screening a 24-year-old man. He was searched and officers allegedly found 11 balloons containing more than 42 grams of ICE in a confectionary package secreted under his arm pit. The man was arrested by police and charged.

At Cessnock Correctional Centre a 43-year-old woman was searched based on intelligence. The woman allegedly produced contraband from the front of her pants including seven balloons containing almost two grams of heroin, eight foil packs containing buprenorphine tablets and 20 suboxone wafers. The woman was charged by Police.

Among others charged at the weekend are a man and woman, aged 32 and 22, who attended Cessnock Correctional Centre's visitors' entry area on Sunday to see a male inmate.

The man was observed allegedly removing an item from the front of his pants which he threw on the ground. Two balloons were recovered which contained more than five grams of green vegetable matter (GVM). A search of the pair's vehicle was conducted and almost three more grams of GVM was located. Police were called and both visitors were charged.

At Long Bay Correctional Complex a 51-year-old female visitor was observed on CCTV allegedly handing a package to a male inmate. The package was intercepted and contained two key ring style mobile phones, two sim cards, two USB adaptors and more than five grams of buprenorphine tablets. It is alleged the contraband was concealed within the clothing of an infant accompanying the woman. Police were called and the woman was charged.

Also at Long Bay on Sunday, a 32-year-old woman was observed on CCTV allegedly handing a package to a male inmate. Two balloons were intercepted containing three packages of buprenorphine, ICE and GVM. The balloons were allegedly concealed in the visitor's mouth. Police were called and the woman was charged.