Men jailed for smuggling drugs inside Strongbow cans into Creamfields festival

The men tried to smuggle MDMA and Ketamine in cans of cider. Credit: Cheshire Live

Two men have been jailed after attempting to smuggle drugs into Creamfields music festival inside cans of cider.

James Jones and Andrew Rankin, both 25, and from Scotland, were each sentenced to three years in prison for possession with intent to supply MDMA and ketamine.

Chester Crown Court heard how Jones, of Arklay Street, Dundee, and Rankin, of Wishhart Place, Dundee, arrived at the dance music festival in Daresbury, Cheshire, at 3pm on 25 August 2022.They were then stopped due to a positive indication by a sniffer dog. Both men stated to the dog handler that they were carrying drugs into the festival for another person, but did not know what the drugs were.

James Jones. Credit: Cheshire Live

The drugs were then recovered from a crate of cider. Five of the cans had been tampered with and drugs were hidden inside.Jones and Rankin were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs. While further enquiries and testing of the drugs was carried out, both men were released under investigation.Testing of the drugs confirmed them to be MDMA and ketamine, with an estimated street value of more than £13,000.Jones and Rankin were both charged in December 2023 and pleaded guilty to the offences in February this year.

Andrew Rankin. Credit: Cheshire Live

Following the sentencing, DC Neil Fleming, of Cheshire Police, said: "I hope these sentences send a stark warning to those who think they can travel to Cheshire and commit these types of offences – you will be prosecuted and held accountable for your actions.

"Jones and Rankin would have had multiple opportunities to re-think what they were doing.

"Amnesty bins were in place at entrance points of the site for prohibited items, but despite this, they still continued in their efforts to smuggle in harmful and illegal drugs.

"The festival is a huge operation and Cheshire Police work with event organisers and security staff in a bid to prevent illegal drugs getting into the site.

"Be under no illusion, while a large majority of Creamfields festival-goers are respectful, those smuggling drugs into the event will be charged and dealt with by the courts. Do not make this mistake."

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