A DRUG smuggler who used paper and stamps impregnated with Spice to traffic dangerous synthetic drugs in bulk into prison could have made £1 million

Rickie McCullough-Hyett-Brooks of Worcester, who roped his pregnant partner into the trafficking business, admitted a string of drugs offences involving the production and supply of synthetic cannabinoids into prison - a drug which is up to 40 times stronger than ordinary cannabis.

The 35-year-old of Perrins Way, Claines, Worcester used confidential stamps (rule 39 stamps) and fake solicitors' letters to get the drugs into jail, knowing that prison officers would not be able to open the correspondence because the private letters were for the eyes of prisoners only.

A statement from the prison governor at HMP Exeter, one of the prisons the drugs were bound for, described how psychoactive substances likes the ones supplied by the defendant caused debt-related violence, bullying, created medical emergencies and caused prisoners to become 'extremely violent or unresponsive' and had 'an impact on the health and safety of staff'.

Hyett-Brooks also admitted possession of criminal property (cash) - the proceeds of the criminal business - and possession of MDMA (ecstasy) and ketamine with intent to supply.

His pregnant partner - Emma Meszaros, 30, who is expecting his baby after a high risk pregnancy was given an 18 community order for her much smaller part in the enterprise, acting as the defendant's 'secretary'. The enterprise lasted between April 3 last year and March 17 this year. In one message Hyett-Brooks said someone called 'mad Jamie' would help him get 'all over' drug users but Meszaros advised him against it, calling Jamie 'a smack head'.

Andrew Davidson who prosecuted the case at Worcester Crown Court on Friday described three types of Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists (SCRA) on the indictment which he said could be '40 times more potent than ordinary cannabis' and called it 'a sophisticated drug trafficking operation' on a commercial scale which involved infusing A4 paper with the class B drug.

He described the defendant as having 'a bespoke laboratory' and he was said to have had 'the expectation of a high financial gain'.

In total officers found 21 different types of drugs and eight mobile phones when they carried out a search at various locations linked to the defendant including his home in Worcester, his car, an industrial unit in Tewkesbury and Meszaros's address in Yarnold Terrance, Cheltenham.

Drugs and raw materials were found, drugs paraphernalia and, overall, 7.2kg of SCRA. On the open marked this would be worth between £90,000 and £254,000 but traded in prison the value is greatly inflated to between £700,000 and £1million said Mr Davidson.

The search warrant was executed by police on March 17 this year at his home address in Perrins Way. The defendant was arrested a short distance away in his Audi A3.

They found what Mr Davidson described as a dealer's list with the names of up to 50 prisoners on it and seven prison addresses kept in a diary.

There were numerous five-litre containers of acetone and a heavy steel press and various solicitor's stamps and rule 39 stamps.

Further stamps were found at his partner's address in Cheltenham and 20 empty iPhone 12 boxes.

Material was also found in metal lockers in Tewkesbury and a text from the defendant revealed he was 'getting twitchy for some reason'.

"There was a suggestion of taking a break from the dealing and storing the drugs somewhere safe," said Mr Davidson.

Cutting agents, mixing bowls and cash were also found - £3,430 on him or in his car and a further £3,500 in the industrial unit. A total of £400 in smaller notes was found in the kitchen of his Worcester home.

He sent 68 papers impregnated with SCRA to HMP Exeter on April 4 last year with a value of between £50,000 and £63,000.

Judge Martin Jackson jailed him for seven years and four months.