Two men were jailed for using drones to deliver thousands of pounds worth of drugs to three different prisons after being busted by Hertfordshire Constabulary officers.
Remo White-Channer, 24, was sentenced to six years and six months and Romaine Gayle, also 24, was sent to prison four years and four months at Luton Crown Court on Friday, March 31.
To date, their sentence is the longest of its type ever handed out in relation to drone crime.
The pair pleaded guilty to using drones to deliver significant amounts of Class A and Class B drugs, as well as mobile phones, into HMP The Mount in Bovingdon, HMP Swaleside on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent and HMP Highpoint in Suffolk during the summer of 2016.
As part of an organised crime group, they purchased drones worth £1,000 each.
They then put together packages containing cannabis, spice and heroin, as well as iPhones, to attach to the drones and flew them into the prisons during the early hours.
It is estimated that the total value of the contraband White-Channer and Gayle flew in to all three prisons is around £48,000.
Officers were alerted to the activity by intelligence from members of the public and prison officers at HMP The Mount, after a drone crash-landed on the roof of one of the prison blocks.
Months of “painstaking” investigative work by detectives saw White-Channer and Gayle arrested in August 2016 after they were forensically linked to the crime.
Sergeant Mick West, from the Specialist Investigation Team, said: “This is an excellent result and a clear demonstration of how robustly we deal with individuals who attempt to deliver illegal packages into prisons.
“Our investigation crossed several borders and saw us working in collaboration with colleagues in Suffolk and Kent to put these offenders behind bars. I hope their conviction serves as a strong message to others who may attempt to do the same.”
Detective Sergeant Richard Allingham, from Kent Police, added: “This investigation spanned several different police forces all working alongside each other to bring these offenders to justice.
“This pro-active and well co-ordinated partnership work shows that police forces do have the resources to bring cross-border criminals to justice and I hope this sends out a strong message to other would-be offenders.”