01/06/2010

Drug Gang Share 40-Year Sentences

Jail sentences of almost 40 years have been handed down to four men for their roles in a £1m cocaine haul.

The police action also resulted in the recovery of a loaded MAC-10 sub machine from a child's bedroom.

In August 2009 HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) intercepted and seized four parcels coming into the UK from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and informed the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Officers from the MPS' Serious and Organised Crime Command immediately mounted a proactive operation targeting the recipients of the parcels.

Each of the four parcels contained approximately one kilo of cocaine at 79 per cent purity, making the total weight of four kilos worth a street value of £1m.

Two parcels were addressed to a pet shop and two were addressed to a school, both located in Herne Hill, London.

Both of these organisations were innocent parties, completely unaware of the contents of the parcels.

Acting Detective Sergeant Luke Da'Bell of the MPS' Serious and Organised Crime Command said: "Motivated by money, these criminals were using innocent people to cover up the trail of their importation.

"The fact that a loaded sub-machine gun was also found, suggests just what lengths they may have gone to had we not intercepted them. Cocaine is a dangerous class A drug and we are committed to catching those responsible for its illegal distribution."

Craig Beckford, unemployed, was found guilty at trial of conspiracy to supply cocaine and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

James Mitchell, a property investor, 52 of Wrottesley Road, Brent, NW10 was found guilty at trial of conspiracy to supply cocaine and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

He was also found guilty of dangerous driving and sentenced to 12 months in prison. Sentences to run concurrently.

Anthony Reid, a fashion designer, 33, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and was sentenced to five years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and was sentenced to seven years. Sentences to run consecutively.

Abrahim Abdul Wahid, a courier, 24 of Battery Road, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.

(BMcC/GK)

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