Corrective Services NSW officers foiled an alleged attempt at Cessnock

The parcel that was to be delivered by drone

The parcel that was to be delivered by drone

Corrective Services NSW officers have foiled an alleged attempt to use a drone to drop-off contraband into a maximum-security prison.

The officers from the CSNSW Security Operations Group (SOG) North acting on intelligence, stopped and searched a vehicle near Shortland Correctional Centre at Cessnock about 9.30am yesterday (Sunday, July 26).

The search located a number of items including a drone, which had a line of string attached to a package containing 108 buprenorphine strips, 42 buprenorphine tablets and 0.9g of 'green vegetable matter' believed to be cannabis.

NSW Police were notified.

CSNSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the operation showed great work by the team at Cessnock in preventing illicit substances from getting into the prison system.

Drone, string and the remote control

Drone, string and the remote control

"Since visits were cancelled to correctional centres in March due to COVID-19, we've seen people increasingly using mail, drones and tennis balls in an attempt to smuggle drugs into our prisons," Mr Severin said.

"The good work by our correctional centre staff and our SOG teams in searching for and detecting contraband should send a clear message to these people that we are alert and you will get caught.

"Our officers are proactive and undertake daily contraband searches of inmates, cells and common areas, with the assistance of the SOG. These searches also focus on inmate mail and prison perimeter fences."

SOG North also prevented cannabis, tobacco and buprenorphine hidden in a tennis ball from allegedly entering Shortland Correctional Centre on Saturday, July 25.

Strips of buprenorphine that were in the parcel

Strips of buprenorphine that were in the parcel

Acting on intelligence, the SOG North officers were conducting surveillance in an area near the prison about 1pm when they noticed a man hiding behind a shrub and cut logs.

The man refused directions to remain on the ground and was arrested by SOG officers. The tennis ball loaded with contraband was found nearby. NSW Police were notified and the man was charged with drug offences.

Each strip or tablet of buprenorphine has a current prison value of around $1,000.

Also making the news: