A border officer at Gatwick Airport, Jade Hearn, 26, has been handed a suspended prison sentence for sharing confidential intelligence with inmates. Arrested by the National Crime Agency’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) in January 2021, Hearn’s activities came to light following a tip from HM Prison Service. She had been sending photos in her Border Force uniform to a prisoner at HMP Woodhill, Buckinghamshire.
Further inquiry by the NCA and the Border Force Joint Anti-Corruption Intelligence Team uncovered Hearn’s communication with at least four prisoners using illicit phones. She shared images of sensitive documents, including criminal records and details of individuals detained for drug smuggling. Additionally, Hearn sent a video showing drugs confiscated at Gatwick, featuring a package with Pablo Escobar’s image.
Hearn also disclosed details of a police investigation she was involved in and advised drug traffickers on how to transfer money without attracting attention. Her advice included splitting large payments into smaller amounts to evade detection.
Prior to joining Border Force, Hearn had worked at Wandsworth Prison, suggesting her familiarity with prison security systems. She faced charges for misconduct in public office, assisting the use of an illegal prison phone, and possession and supply of a class B drug. After pleading guilty to all charges, Southwark Crown Court sentenced her to 20 months, suspended for two years, on Friday, January 19.
Dave Rock, Operations Manager at the NCA’s Anti-Corruption Unit said: “Jade Hearn abused her position as a Border Force officer and knowingly shared sensitive information with people serving prison terms for drug dealing.
“She communicated with individuals behind bars knowing that they were holding those phones illegally, and assisted them in their criminality by arranging money transfers. The NCA worked closely with the Prison Service to end their conspiracy.
“We do not believe that any of the information she passed on caused major impact to ongoing investigations or operations, but there is no doubt that the potential to do so was there had we not stopped her. Her corrupt activity was the definition of misconduct in public office.
“We know organised crime groups target insiders at ports and airports for their knowledge and access, which is why stamping out corruption across all law enforcement is such a priority for the NCA and our partners such as Border Force.”