A dealer who used “drug mules” to smuggle cannabis into Altcourse Prison by hiding it in balloons that were later swallowed or put up their backsides, was jailed today.
Donna Spruce would find people likely to be sentenced to serve time at the Liverpool jail and meet up with them beforehand at Altcourse to give them the drugs.
This would happen when Spruce would visit family members who were incarcerated there, Mold Crown Court heard.
The “drug mule” would then smuggle the cannabis into the prison in balloons inside their bodies after being sentenced.
Spruce, 49, of Pentre Gwyn, Caia Park, Wrexham , admitted five charges which were possession of a Class B drug, two charges of supplying a Class B drug, possession of a Class B drug and possession of criminal property, between April 8 and August 6 2017.
When police raided her home on August 17 last year they found cannabis stashes and cash totalling £1,110.
The court heard she had internal terminal cancer and skin cancer which was spreading and doctors estimated Spruce had 12-18 months to live without treatment.
She initially told police the cannabis was to treat her condition.
But detectives checked messages on her phone which showed she was involved in a long-standing operation to smuggle drugs into Altcourse Prison.
Prosecutor Ryan Rothwell said she had communication with an unknown prisoner inside the jail who would tell her where to go and how to supply the drugs.
“The plan was for the defendant to pack drugs in balloons and supply them to drug mules who would put them in their rectum or swallow them to get the drugs in,” he said.
The court heard her husband and son Connor were in Altcourse prison at various times during the smuggling operation.
Defending Paul Smith said the drugs balloons were for Connor to keep him off harder narcotics and asked, given her poor state of health, for a suspended sentence.
But Judge David Hale said the supply went wider than that.
“You would find people who were likely to receive a custodial sentence and were likely to go to Altcourse Prison, create balloons of cannabis and give them to the persons who were about to come to court and ask them to transport the cannabis inside,” he said.
“It’s hard enough to keep control inside prison without the corrosive influence of drugs.”
He took into account she had terminal cancer and had medical appointments next month with further operations.
But Judge Hale said the offences were so serious she had to go to jail and sentenced to her 12 months in prison.
The cash and drugs were seized and she was ordered to pay a victim impact surcharge of £140.
Source : DailyPost