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​Three charged in prison contraband blitz

Published date: Monday 3 December 2018

A 37-year-old woman was charged on Sunday after she allegedly tried to smuggle opioids and tobacco hidden in her bra and handbag into a NSW prison.

The woman, who allegedly concealed 10 buprenorphine strips and 6.6g of tobacco, was among 15 people refused entry to the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre in Kempsey during a contraband blitz by Corrective Services NSW and NSW Police over the weekend.

Assistant Commissioner for Security and Intelligence Mark Wilson PSM said that while some drugs were allegedly discovered hidden on visitors, it was also an offence for people to have banned items in their cars when attending any prison site.

“Anyone visiting a correctional centre needs to be aware that officers from the specialised Security Operations Group and their K9s are out in force conducting contraband screenings and this includes searches of any property brought on site,” Mr Wilson said.

“We make sure no stone is left unturned. Everything on prison property — whether it be a handbag, pram or car — is carefully inspected for contraband.

“Visitors also need to use some common sense and ensure they’re not driving into a correctional facility with a boot full of alcohol, tobacco, or anything else that is considered contraband in the custodial setting.”

During the operations, officers cautioned and refused entry to 12 people who had items including alcohol, weapons and drugs in their vehicles. A further three people were charged by NSW Police for alleged contraband offences.

Some of the items included:

  • One improvised weapon found under the front seat of a car;
  • Six bottles of beer and one bottle of rum and cola on the back seat of a car;
  • One 4L cask of wine located on the front passenger seat of a car;
  • One bottle of wine and a filleting knife located on the back seat of a car;
  • 0.39g of white crystal substance and a glass smoking implement inside a car; and
  • 60 syringes, five hypodermic needles and a 25cm knife in the front of a car.
Visitors caught bringing banned items, including illegal and prescription drugs, to correctional centres face penalties of up to two years' imprisonment.