AS the coronavirus pandemic continues to restrict visitation to correctional centres, those who smuggle drugs and tobacco to inmates are being forced to innovate.
But the Corrective Services NSW security operations group appear to be one step ahead, with officers foiling two separate attempts to throw tennis balls full of drugs over the walls of Cessnock Correctional Centre as well as another plot to deliver drugs to the jail by drone. Jade Allan Thompson, 31, who attempted to throw a tennis ball containing methamphetamine and other illicit substances over the walls of the jail in May was jailed for a maximum of two years and four months in Cessnock Local Court on Wednesday.
Thompson and another man were riding a stolen and unregistered Yamaha motorcycle when they approached the outer wall of the correctional facility and attempted to throw the drugs over the wall about 2pm on May 31.
Corrective Services NSW officers conducting "targeted surveillance" at the jail approached the pair, who sped away on a motorcycle before crashing into a tree.
The Corrective Services NSW officers grabbed Thompson and the other man fled into nearby bush.
He later pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying a prohibited drug, bringing a prohibited drug into a place of detention, driving while disqualified and stealing the motorbike.
He was jailed in Cessnock Local Court on Wednesday for a maximum of two years and four months, with a non-parole period of one year and four months.
He will be eligible for parole in September, 2021.
Cessnock Correctional Centre has been the repeated target of drug smuggling attempts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.