Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Drug trafficker jailed for prison drone smuggling bid

Drone Image copyright AP

A drug trafficker who tried to smuggle heroin into an Edinburgh prison by flying a drone over a built-up area has been jailed for more than five years.

John Grant, 47, lost control of the aircraft and it crashed with its load of drugs and mobile phones in a garden.

It contained footage on its camera of Grant adjusting settings on the drone and with GPS co-ordinates of his home.

Grant admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin between 5-18 November 2016.

He also admitted two breaches of Scottish prison legislation by attempting to fly the Class A drug and mobile phones into Saughton jail in Edinburgh on 5 November.

He also pleaded guilty to culpably and recklessly piloting "an unmanned aircraft system" at night with its aviation lights taped, making it invisible to other aircraft to the danger of the public and other aircraft.

He was jailed for five years and four months.

High purity

Grant was on bail at the time of the offences.

The drone, which was found by a woman in Redhall, had a sock attached containing three mobile phones, two chargers and a haul of heroin and diazepam.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard the heroin was worth £11,000. Its value inside the jail would have been £48,000.

Grant was identified from the drone's film and a search of his home found a further half kilo of heroin worth £48,000.

Advocate depute Jim Keegan said the total amount of heroin recovered was valued at £59,000 but more money could have been made out of it because of the premium payable in jail and its high purity.

Grant, a former mechanic, was previously jailed for 44 months for a drug trafficking offence.

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