A MAN has been jailed for his part in an international ring of cannabis smugglers.

Anthony Redmond, of Agecroft Road close to Drinkwater Park and Prestwich Golf Club, was one of six men who received a combined 31 year sentence at Manchester Crown Court earlier this week.

Mr Redmond was given a year and eight months for trying to smuggle cannabis into the UK hidden around the spare wheel of a car.

The court heard that he had travelled to Barcelona and had brought the drugs back with him as part of a scheme to transport them into GMP Forest Bank.

Along with other members of his group, Mr Redmond was caught after police found one man trying to fly a drone into the prison.

Detective sergeant Colin Shackleton of GMP’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “Their well-oiled plan was brought to an abrupt end when the drugs were discovered in their car.

“They thought they could outsmart officers by crossing borders to obtain the drugs, but we’ve shown we’ve got the experience and skill to bring organised criminals like this to justice.

“With every conviction we’re a step closer to taking dangerous drugs off our street, but ensuring results like today relies on people sharing information about criminal activity in their area.”

Mr Redmond would travel to Spain alongside with Michael Madden, from Swinton, following Steven Roberts, from Salford, who was also a part of the group.

Mr Roberts then flew back while Mr Madden and Mr Redmond drove and got on the ferry.

The group was in contact with Darren Dunn, who was in Forest Bank prison at the time, and two other members coordinated to fly a drone into the prison for Mr Dunn.

The first recorded incident happened in October 2016, but the group then tried to run their operation again in November.

On 13 November 2016, Mr Roberts and Mr Redmond travelled to Spain and returned two days later, having replenished their supply of cannabis.

Shortly after, another member of the group was seen in the park opposite the prison, attempting to transfer cannabis again.

Officers tried to stop him, but he managed to escape and called Mr Dunn to let him know the police were aware of the operation.

The following day, he was arrested after they found his abandoned bag which contained the drone, socks full of cannabis, mobile phones and two bags of pills.

In December, the operation unravelled after Mr Roberts was seen exchanging £2,500 into Euros before he travelled to Barcelona, followed by Mr Madden and Mr Redmond in their car.

The pair returned to the UK on the ferry and were stopped by Border Force Officers who found bags of cannabis in the boot and around the spare wheel.

When questioned about the drugs in the car, Mr Redmond told officers he didn’t know they were there.

Mr Dunn was found guilty at an earlier hearing while all five of the other members of the group pleaded guilty to their drug charges.