Judge jails man caught secretly filming inside at Northampton Crown Court

Detective spotted camera as crime gang were sentenced over dark web drugs operation

By Kevin Nicholls
Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 1:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 1:16 pm

A judge has jailed a man caught secretly filming a case inside Northampton Crown Court.

Justinas Raugala, aged 34, from Wellingborough Road, in the town was handed a four-month sentence for contempt of court on Monday after an alert detective spotted him with a camera during a high-profile case last month.

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Raugala was spotted with a camera at Northampton Crown Court

Raugala was caught recording proceedings from the public gallery as ladislavs Cvirkovics, 28, Filip Hmelnicenko, 31, Denis Potapenko, 28 and 32-year-old Edgars Pirants were sentenced on December 18.

All four had pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply Class A drugs earlier in the year.

Detective Sergeant Keith Morson, who arrested Raugala inside the courtroom, said: “The use of mobile phones and recording equipment is strictly prohibited in court.

“This sentence demonstrates just how seriously the issue is viewed and I hope it serves as a deterrent. If you attempt to film inside a court the likelihood is, you will find yourself standing before the court yourself.”

Police launched their investigation into a cyber drug operation after discovering £2.7m of Class A and Class B drugs in a storage facility in Northampton in June 2019.

The haul included 3.7kg of cocaine, 50kg of MDMA tablets and Crystal MDMA, amphetamine, cannabis and ketamine.

Detectives uncovered cyber operation involving Cvirkovics, Hmelnicenko, Potapenko and Pirants using Royal Mail to post drugs bought using cryptocurrency.