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Mother and daughter sentenced to 4 years imprisonment after being caught smuggling new drug

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Thursday 27 February 2014

Annette Cronshey, a 50 year old female and her daughter Danielle Samantha Lucas, a 29 year old female who prior to their arrest were both living in Axminster, Devon, appeared before the Guernsey Royal Court having pleaded guilty to the joint importation of 220.09 grams of a mixture of the Class B controlled drugs 4-Fluoromethcathinone and 4-Methylethcathinone, otherwise known as Flephedrone and 4-MEC. Cronshey and Lucas were each sentenced to four years imprisonment.

On 31 August 2013 Cronshey, and Lucas who was heavily pregnant at the time, arrived on the Condor Ferries sailing from Weymouth accompanied by a juvenile. They disembarked the vessel as foot passengers and when stopped by Customs Officers stated they were coming to Guernsey for a camping holiday.

Following a search of their belongings they were arrested on suspicion of importing controlled drugs and Cronshey and Lucas were subsequently found to be internally concealing one drugs' package each. The two packages contained Flephedrone and 4-MEC, although the majority of the substance was Flephedrone, and had a potential local resale value of between £13,200 and £17,600. Both Flephedrone and 4-MEC are cathinones which are very similar in appearance and effect to the more commonly known Mephedrone. Flephedrone has not previously been encountered in Guernsey in commercial quantities by Law Enforcement.

In summing up Judge Finch said that this was a substantial importation of considerable value. He added that it is "just not worth bringing drugs into this Island". Cronshey and Lucas's sentences are due to run from the date of their arrest. Rebecca Falla, Senior Investigation Officer at the Guernsey Border Agency commented:

"Flephedrone is a member of the group of cathinones to which the more commonly known drug Mephedrone belongs. These drugs were classified as Class B controlled drugs in April 2010 and as such are illegal to import, possess and supply. The dangers and health risks associated with this group of drugs are still being fully established although there is already significant concern which has led to their addition to the list of controlled drugs. These new drugs are unpredictable and dangerous and have the potential to cause serious medical harm."

Peter Knee, the Acting Deputy Chief Officer stated:

"I would like to acknowledge the work carried out by the Officers involved in what can only be described as extremely challenging and emotive circumstances. Dealing with individuals who import drugs by way of internal concealment can be difficult when considering the health implications involved; however having to deal with a family unit including an unborn child added even more pressure."

Law Enforcement are always grateful of any assistance given by members of the public in identifying any persons involved with smuggling or supplying controlled drugs in the Bailiwick and also any new drugs that are available locally; information can be given by contacting the Confidential Drugline on 0800 318 318.

The Agency would like to acknowledge the assistance given during the initial investigation by the social workers of the HSSD Intervention and Assessment team.

-ENDS-

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