Security guards at Creamfields were startled when they opened cans of Strongbow Dark Fruit and discovered what was inside.

Security guards at Creamfields were startled when they opened cans of Strongbow Dark Fruit and discovered what was inside.

DARESBURY, England (March 18, 2024) – Two men have been handed significant prison sentences after they were caught attempting to smuggle a substantial quantity of illegal drugs into the Creamfields music festival by concealing them inside cans of Strongbow Dark Fruit cider.

James Jones, 25, and Andrew Rankin, 25, both from Dundee, Scotland, were apprehended on August 25, 2022, as they tried to enter the festival grounds in Daresbury, Cheshire. Their scheme unraveled when sniffer dogs detected the presence of drugs, prompting a thorough search by Cheshire Police.

According to official reports, the pair had meticulously tampered with five cans from a crate of Strongbow Dark Fruit cider, stashing an estimated £13,000 worth of MDMA and ketamine inside. However, their efforts were thwarted by the vigilance of law enforcement and festival security.

Initially, Jones and Rankin admitted to carrying drugs into the festival but claimed they were acting on behalf of another individual and were unaware of the specific substances involved. However, subsequent forensic tests confirmed the presence of MDMA and ketamine, prompting authorities to file charges against the duo in December 2023.

In a court hearing on February 2024, both men pleaded guilty to charges of possession with intent to supply the illicit drugs. On March 12, they faced the consequences of their actions at Chester Crown Court, where they were each sentenced to three years in prison.

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Commenting on the case, Detective Constable Neil Fleming of Cheshire Police emphasized the deterrent message behind the sentences. “I hope these sentences send a stark warning to those who think they can travel to Cheshire and commit these types of offenses – you will be prosecuted and held accountable for your actions,” he stated.

Fleming noted that Jones and Rankin had multiple opportunities to reconsider their actions, as amnesty bins were provided at the festival’s entrance points for prohibited items. However, they persisted in their efforts to smuggle the harmful drugs into the event.

The case highlights the collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies and event organizers to maintain a safe environment for festival attendees and prevent the distribution of illegal substances.

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