Carlisle gang jailed for plot to smuggle drugs into HMP Northumberland

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image copyrightCumbria Police
image captionThe operation was run by prison inmate Dixon, (right) with the help of Schwencke (left) on the "outside"

A gang has been jailed in connection with a "daring" plot to smuggle drugs into a prison.

The operation was run by an inmate who planned to supply drugs with the help of people on the "outside".

The scheme also involved bundles of drugs, phones and syringes being thrown over a prison fence that were intercepted by prison officers.

Five people were jailed at Carlisle Crown Court for between 10 years and 27 months.

The court heard how the operation was run by Stephen Dixon while he was an inmate at HMP Northumberland.

Using a phone secreted in his cell, the 35-year-old ran the "large-scale" operation which involved supplying large amounts of class A drugs with his "man on the outside" Dylan Schwencke, 25.

Schwencke's role was to recruit drugs couriers and arrange for drugs to be stored in warehouses.

image copyrightCumbria Police
image captionBeardmore admitting trying to smuggle drugs into prison and was jailed for 42 months

On 23 December 2019, another member of the gang Clare Karpinski, 46, drove to HMP Northumberland, where an unidentified passenger hurled two packages over the fence.

They contained cocaine, hundreds of tablets of other drugs, as well as iPhones, SIM cards, steroids, syringes and needles.

The packages were supposed to be picked up by Karpinski's son, 23-year-old inmate Chance Beardmore, but they were intercepted by prison officers who found them near the fence.

Dixon, of Blackwell Road, Carlisle, and Schwencke, of Warnell Drive, also Carlisle, both admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Dixon was jailed for eight years eight months, and Schwencke for 10 years and six months.

image copyrightCumbria Police
image captionClare Karpinski admitted trying to smuggle drugs into a prison and was jailed for 27 months

Beardmore and Karpinski both of Bedford Road, Birkenhead, and Schwencke, admitted conveying articles into prison.

Beardmore was jailed for 42 months, and Karpinski for 27 months.

Judge Nicholas Barker said the cocaine supply enterprise run by Dixon and Schwencke had been "large scale, well-informed and a well connected conspiracy."

He also said the plot to smuggle contraband into prison had been "very determined".

Another man involved in the plot, Simon Pipes, 30, of School Road, Cumwhinton, was jailed for six years at a previous hearing.

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