Former prison officer sentenced for her part in drugs operation
A former prison officer has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to her part in a cross-county “business-like” drugs operation.
Rebecca Grace is the24th person to be sentenced as part of the drugs operation. At a hearing in February, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convey a prohibited article into prison and intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence.
An investigation revealed Grace was in a relationship with a serving prisoner. She communicated with him through a mobile phone he was not allowed to have and met another defendant in the case a number of times outside HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire, where she was given packages to take into the prison.
On Friday (April 3) 34-year-old Grace, who lives in the Derbyshire area, was given a 15 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.
In February and March this year, 23 defendants involved in the drugs plot were sentenced to more than 100 years between them for their part in the operation.
Detective Inspector Lee Hunt from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), said: “Grace’s part in this drugs operation may have been small but it was in no way insignificant. She abused her position of trust in the prison and not only formed a relationship with a prisoner but brought items into the prison, which she wasn’t prohibited from doing.
“The 24 defendants sentenced in this case all had a part to play in the business-like operation. These criminals were part of an organised network who operated not just in Leicestershire but Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Liverpool. During the enforcement last summer we executed more than 50 warrants across those counties and cities.
“This was a significant operation for us but our work doesn’t end here. We know there is always someone waiting to the fill the gap left by others and we will continue in our efforts to stop the misuse of drugs and carry out further operations of this nature to disrupt the criminal activity.”