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Friday, May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024

Cocaine-coated broomstick gang jailed for 135 years in £1m smuggling case

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A drug smuggling crew, responsible for sneaking £1 million worth of cocaine into the UK by concealing it on broom handles using an “invisible to the human eye” chemical process, has been sentenced to a collective 135 years behind bars.

This gang imported 580 broom handles within a shipment from Colombia to a UK industrial estate back in October 2021, marking a novel approach in drug trafficking, as per the Metropolitan Police.

The technique, employing an unseen method to coat the handles, was a first-time occurrence, surprising even forensic experts and law enforcement officials involved in the case.

Despite their elaborate scheme, none of the narcotics made it to the streets. The gang’s conviction came after a prolonged trial, nearly two years following their arrest in a joint operation by the Met and the National Crime Agency.

At Kingston Crown Court, six individuals received varying sentences totaling 135 years, with Yuni Alexis Pacheco Miranda and Daniel Oliver serving 29 years each. Nigel Rogers and Ermal Shtrezi were handed 23 years, while Frank Asante received an 18-year term, and Terrence Allen was sentenced to 13 years. Another defendant, William Adams, awaited sentencing due to illness.

The judge, Marcus Tregilgas-Davey, condemned their actions, emphasizing the catastrophic impact of Class A drugs like cocaine on individuals and communities. He chastised the defendants for their callous pursuit of profit without regard for the lives their drugs could ruin.

The broomsticks, coated with the illicit substance, were discovered near a cleaning company owned by Allen on the industrial estate. A subsequent police search revealed various drugs and a substantial amount of cash at the suspects’ residences.

This sophisticated technique employed by the gang highlighted the increasing complexity of drug smuggling methods. Detective Chief Inspector Ben Mahoney stressed the importance of uncovering such methods to counteract them effectively, allowing for shared knowledge among law enforcement agencies nationally.

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