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Demaine York (08/08/1997), of no fixed address, has been sentenced to 28 months imprisonment after he was charged with conspiracy to convey List A & B articles into prison. He pleaded guilty to the charges at the earliest opportunity yesterday (Monday 17 October 2022) at Manchester Crown Court.
In 2021, HMP Forest Bank, Salford was subject to a large number of parcels being thrown over their perimeter walls which contained illegal items such as drugs and mobile phones.
On 3rd April 2021, a team of plain clothes police officers covertly deployed to the wooded area around HMP Forest Bank tasked with arresting any offenders intent of throwing illegal articles. Later in the afternoon, officers spotted a motorbike approach with a rider and a passenger near to the perimeter of the prison who decamped from the bike, collected an item, walked through a wooded area and run towards the perimeter wall where CCTV showed him throwing two parcels over to the yards within the prison where prisoners were exercising. This male was later identified as 25-year-old, Demaine York.
York then ran back into the woods. As an officer responded the man on the bike panicked and rode off leaving the passenger behind. York tried to escape but was detained and arrested on suspicion of conveying articles into prison.
He was subsequently searched and was found to have a piece of tin foil in his pocket containing a small amount of cannabis for which he was also arrested. A mobile phone and £146 cash were also seized.
As a result, prison officers had managed to intercept two parcels thrown by York which were later found to contain drugs, three mobile phones with charging cables, tobacco and two screwdrivers.
A summary of some of the parcels seized.
He was later released under investigation pending forensic analysis of the drugs which were later confirmed to be tobacco, cannabis and spice infused paper. A specialist police drugs valuator then valued these items as being worth around £7,000 inside prison.
As York refused to provide comment or the passcode of his mobile phone it took the police several months to gain access to it. A download report revealed that he was heavily involved in several further throw overs. Police intelligence suggests throwers receive an average of £150 per visit.
On the latest success in relation to the dedicated Operation Dragonfire, which is a multi-agency operation (North West Regional Organised Crime Unit) to fight the illegal conveyance of items, the investigating detective, said; “GMP, NWROCU, HMPPS and HMP Forest Bank continue to work closely together to proactively stop the ingress of drugs and phones into our prisons.
“These items put prison officers’ safety at risk, fuel violence and reduce chances of prisoner rehabilitation. Offenders involved in throwing parcels over are warned that you will be caught, and you will be thrown into prison yourself.”
Anyone with information about this type of crime should contact Greater Manchester Police quoting Operation Dragonfire via gmp.police.uk, 101 or the independent charity - Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.