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​No minor offence — woman allegedly tries to traffic drugs in front of kids

Published date: Wednesday 7 November 2018

NSW prison officers have thwarted a bid by visitors, who allegedly attempted to smuggle in more than 400 strips of the opioid buprenorphine, into a maximum-security correctional centre over the weekend.

A 62-year-old woman, who is expected to be charged by NSW Police, was allegedly trying to traffic 137 strips of ‘bupe’ in the presence of children at Lithgow Correctional Centre, in the state’s central west, when she was caught on Saturday.

‘Bupe’ as it’s more commonly called is used as a heroin replacement and is currently estimated to be worth about $200 per strip in a maximum-security centre.

Lithgow Governor Mick Dudley said the incident was one of two over the weekend in which inmates’ family and friends allegedly tried to smuggle ‘bupe’ — worth approximately $80,000 collectively.

“It was thanks to our officers’ careful inspection of visitors’ suspicious behaviour that the contraband was spotted,” Mr Dudley said.

“The more bupe and other contraband seized by staff means the less circulating among inmates, which ensures a safer and more secure correctional facility.”

In an unrelated incident on Sunday, a 21-year-old woman allegedly attempted to pass 287 bupe strips, hidden in coloured balloons, to an inmate.

Both inmates have been placed in segregation pending further inquiries.

Commissioner Peter Severin said these incidents are another reminder for all prison visitors that CSNSW will not tolerate contraband smuggled into the state’s correctional centres.

“The consequences are very strong and visitors caught bringing contraband into prisons face penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment and other drug-related charges,” Mr Severin said.

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

CSNSW staff are proactive and undertake targeted and random searches every day for illegal items on inmates, visitors, cells and all common areas. Daily searches are backed up with the assistance of the elite Security Operations Group and their highly trained K9 unit, which make regular targeted random searches of the state’s prisons and visitors.