Ten people have appeared in court charged with plotting to smuggle drugs and phones into prisons using drones.
The eight men and two women, all from the West Midlands, are accused of three counts of conspiracy to supply drugs, psychoactive substances and banned items, police said.
The charges relate to allegations that drones were used to drop packages containing contraband over prison walls at HMP Birmingham, HMP Oakwood and Featherstone, near Wolverhampton, Worcestershire’s HMP Hewell, HMP Risley in Warrington, HMP Wymott in Lancashire and HMP Liverpool.
Those charged are Paul Payne, 33, of Broad Street, Coseley; Callum McDonough, 25, from Shenley Field Road, Northfield, Birmingham; Shane Hadlington, 29, from Sycamore Lodge, Oldbury; Hannah Williams, 34, from Horton Street, Tipton; Stella Deakin, 40, of Boundary Hill, Dudley; Richard Harrabin, 27, from Perton Grove, Weoley Castle, Birmingham; Jake Blewitt, 20, from Highfield Road, Tipton; Dwayne Tinker, 20, of Lindridge Drive, Minworth, near Sutton Coldfield; Ryan Greaves, 21, from Kimberley Walk, Minworth; and 43-year-old Robert Morris, from Sedgeley Road West in Tipton.
All ten appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and were ordered to appear at the city’s Crown Court on April 12, a court spokesman said.