Five people have been charged after travelling from Greater Sydney to the state's Southern Tablelands, where a man allegedly threw contraband over a fence into a correctional facility.
About 10.40am on Saturday August 7, 2021, officers from the Hume Police District were called to Goulburn Correctional Centre on Maud Street, after reports a man was allegedly seen to throw several packages over the fence before fleeing in a black Jeep SUV.
A subsequent search for the vehicle in the surrounding area was conducted by police however it was unsuccessful.
About 1pm, police were called to the facility again after the Jeep had returned to the area and a man was allegedly seen loitering near the fence.
Officers from Corrective Services NSW pursued the man on foot before he was detained near the Mulwaree River. The 27-year-old man and four other occupants of the Jeep - a man and three women, aged between 34 and 41 - were arrested by police.
Two packages allegedly containing tobacco, prescription medication, illicit substances and other items were recovered by corrective services staff inside the facility and provided to police.
All five people - who are from Waterloo, Whalan, Prestons and two from Punchbowl - were taken to Goulburn Police Station.
A 27-year-old man was charged with unlawfully deliver or attempt to deliver anything to inmate, supply prohibited drug less than or equal to small quantity, custody of knife in public place, and not comply with noticed direction re s 7/8/9 - COVID-19.
He was refused bail to appear before Wollongong Local Court on Sunday August 8, 2021.
A 34-year-old woman was charged with not comply with noticed direction re s 7/8/9 - COVID-19 and a breach of bail. She was granted conditional bail to appear before Bankstown Local Court on Monday August 9, 2021).
Two women, aged 41 and 40, and the 34-year-old man were all charged with not comply with noticed direction re s 7/8/9 - COVID-19.
The women are due to appear before Bankstown Local Court on September 8 and 9, 2021 respectively.
The man is due to appear before Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday August 11, 2021.
Meantime, Corrective Services Acting Commissioner Kevin Corcoran PSM said staff vigilance was key to recovering the drugs and capturing those involved.
"Our officers detected suspicious activity near the external perimeter fence and responded immediately," Mr Corcoran said.
"They disrupted the drop, intercepted two packages and ultimately apprehended those responsible.
"It sends a clear message to anyone who thinks they will get away with these contraband drops; we are watching and you will be caught."
Security Operations Group officers confronted the man who they'd seen trying to throw packages over the perimeter fence into the prison yard.
A spokesperson said the man ran to the car and fled. Police were notified. The SOG officers recovered the packages containing contraband in the prison yard.
Following his second return to the facility at 1.05pm, Corrective Services pursued the man into a nearby paddock where he became entangled in blackberry bushes. He was apprehended until police arrived.
A spokeswoman said although the men were from Sydney, the risk of transmission was "extremely low."
"The incident occurred outside and the officers had the (alleged) offender place a face mask on as soon as he was apprehended," she said.
"Their equipment and workstations were cleaned as a precaution.
"The officers will continue to monitor for symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop."
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.
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