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Pair who used drones to fly drugs into prison are jailed

Police officers spotted a drone flying into HMP The Mount in Hertfordshire last October.

Two men who used drones to fly drugs and mobile phones into prisons have been jailed, Scotland Yard said.

Tomas Natalevicius, 35, and Dalius Zilinskas, 33, were sentenced at Luton Crown Court, Bedfordshire, on Friday after admitting smuggling the prohibited items.

The pair were caught after police officers spotted a drone flying into HMP The Mount in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire, on October 13 last year.

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Dalius Zilinskas, who used drones to fly drugs and mobile phones into prisons (Metropolitan Police/PA)

They were later found with a holdall containing a drone controller, battery pack, tablet device and white string.

The drone was recovered during searches of prison cells, alongside a package of cocaine, a cling film-wrapped parcel of cannabis and other items including mobile phones.

Natalevicius was also charged with an incident on August 14, when officers patrolling HMP Pentonville in Islington, north London, saw a drone heading towards the prison.

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Tomas Natalevicius used drones to fly drugs and mobile phones into prisons (Metropolitan Police/PA)

It crashed after string carrying the package became caught in the propellers, but the drone was found and Natalevicius was linked to the crime through DNA evidence.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Heatley, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “These recovered drones carried a substantial amount of class A drugs and a large quantity of mobile phones into prisons, which we were able to intercept, thanks to the vigilance of officers and the public.

“We worked closely with the prison service and Hertfordshire Constabulary to gather intelligence in order to carry out proactive operations to arrest and prosecute these two offenders.

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Drugs and mobile phones smuggled into HMP The Mount in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire (Metropolitan Police/PA)

“The message is clear – if you commit a criminal offence such as this you will be caught and prosecuted.”

Natalevicius, of no fixed address, was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply prohibited articles into HMP Pentonville, conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis into HMP The Mount, handling stolen goods and theft.

Zilinskas, of Grange Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis into HMP The Mount and was jailed for two years and eight months.

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