Prison guard forced to pay fines after smuggling into prison

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Beefy prison guard who used a protein shaker to smuggle contraband behind bars, including weight lifting magazines for an inmate’s birthday, narrowly avoided jail and instead was fined infuriating.

Today in Victoria County Court, 43-year-old Wesley Newell was ordered to pay $ 40,000 and serve a two-year community order after pleading guilty to public service misconduct, liable to a 10-year prison sentence.

The bodybuilding champion was a guard at Ravenhall Correctional Center when he smuggled tobacco, drill bits and a glass pipe into the prison, secreting some of the items into a protein shaker.

Tobacco is banned in prison where it is traded between inmates, while drills are valuable as they can be used to hide items in cells.

“Your offense is obviously a very serious breach of trust. It has a certain sophistication and planning and has exploited your position and your knowledge of the prison system,” Judge Michael Bourke said on sentencing.

However, the judge conceded that when Newell was caught he made a full confession and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

“You volunteered for committing an offense far beyond what the investigation revealed,” he said.

Wesley Newell has received thousands of dollars in bribes from inmates for smuggling.(Facebook)

Over the course of approximately two weeks in late December 2019 and early January 2020, Newell smuggled 26 tobacco pouches, a magnetic bar and two drill bits, two bodybuilding magazines, and a glass pipe.

“You have been, over time, approached by one or more prisoners to do this,” Judge Bourke said.

In return, Newell received $ 11,200 in his bank account in three separate deposits.

Prison officials became suspicious after noticing Newell’s interaction with inmates and began examining security footage which showed the 43-year-old using a protein shaker to hand over the goods.

Days later, prison bosses searched a staff area and detected an identical protein shaker in Newell’s locker.

The shaker was empty but, about half an hour later, authorities noticed it had been moved into Newell’s bag where it had been filled with tobacco and drills.

When Newell was confronted with his bosses, he confessed everything and then made a full confession to the police.

He later told investigators that he also smuggled other items.

“I had two bodybuilding magazines, which were actually, because it was someone’s birthday there, a prisoner, and I didn’t know it was a crime too,” he said. Newell said.

A shirtless man wearing sunglasses
Wesley Newell used a protein shaker to smuggle tobacco, drills and other prohibited items into Ravenhall Correctional Center.(Facebook)

The court heard that at the time of his crimes, Newell was in financial difficulty after his relationship broke down, prompting him to sell two investment properties.

Since being caught, Newell has worked as a personal trainer and as an entrepreneur with the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The court heard that Newell, who has no criminal record, personally paid the rent for victims of domestic violence.

“By my calculations, it comes to almost $ 10,000,” the judge said.

In addition to a two-year community order, Judge Bourke ordered Newell to perform 300 hours of unpaid labor.


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