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Man who tried to smuggle drugs and phones into prison is jailed

Police spotted 25-year-old using line to get items into Pentonville in early hours

13 April, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Joshua Lewis has been jailed for 27 months

POLICE officers followed a long piece of string to unravel a plot to smuggle contraband into Pentonville prison, it was revealed this week.

Joshua Lewis, 25, of Hornsey, was sentenced to 27 months in jail after he attempted to smuggle mobile phones and £23,000 worth of drugs into the jail.

Islington’s Neighbourhoods Inspector, Steve Murfin, praised Police Constable Adam Crossan for his “excellent piece of prolonged problem solving” after officers spotted a string line coming down from the prison and set up an operation to watch the location in August 2016.

They watched Lewis approaching the line at 2.30am. He escaped after a chase but not before he dropped two bags of contraband items alongside his personal mobile phone.

The bags contained 19 mobile phones – some smaller than a thumb – psychoactive substances, MDMA tablets, cannabis and cocaine.

The drugs and phones seized by police officers

Lewis’s DNA was found on his phone and he was later arrested in neighbouring Hackney.

The conviction follows the death of Jamal Mahmoud in October 2016 at the 17-year-old prison. During the trial, jurors were told that Mr Mahmoud was caught up in a battle over the supply of smuggled-in drugs at the prison. No one has been convicted of his death.

Inspector Murfin, said: “This individual was found to be carrying a substantial amount of controlled drugs and phones. Due to the vigilance of officers, it was prevented from entering the prison. We work closely with the Prison Service to gather intelligence in order to carry out proactive operations to arrest and prosecute those who commit this crime. This was an excellent piece of prolonged problem solving by the officer in this case, PC Adam Crossan.”

Prisons Minister Rory Stewart said: “I am determined to stop drugs being smuggled into our prisons. They are illegal, they fuel violence, undermine our programs of education, and ultimately threaten public safety.

“This is a great example of how we can begin to tackle this problem – good detective work by the Metropolitan Police leading to a major seizure of cocaine, illegal phones and psychoactive drugs.

“We owe the police a great debt of thanks and we will continue to crack down on any attempts to get drugs into prison by any methods. This is a top priority for me as Prisons Minister.”

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