Men jailed over massive cocaine factory at scrapyard

Christopher Southart, left, and Kevin Parr

Christopher Southart, left, and Kevin Parr have been jailed for their roles in the drugs factory - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

Two men who were involved in the production of cocaine at a drug factory based at a Suffolk scrapyard have been given jail sentences totalling more than 12 years.

Police officers who raided a container at the Camperdown scrapyard in Flowton discovered Christopher Southart next to a workbench, where he had been cutting and packaging cocaine, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Officers also found two blocks of cocaine, each weighing a kilo and each worth £20,000 to £25,000. 

One of the blocks had a Mercedes logo embossed on it, said Peter Gair, prosecuting.

He said the estimated potential profit from the operation was around £130,000.

Police also raided the home of Kevin Parr in Alexander Road, Harwich and found nine kilos of benzocaine which was used as a cutting agent and one kilo of cannabis.

Southart, 35, of Valley Road, Harwich, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and was jailed for 98 months.

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Parr, 60, was found guilty after a trial of conspiracy to supply cocaine and he admitted possession with intent to supply cannabis. He was jailed for 54 months.

A third defendant, Paul Fenton, 56, of Loraine Way, Bramford, admitted permitting premises to be used for the production of class A drugs.

He was given a 24-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, a rehabilitation requirement and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said undercover officers were watching Southart on September 11, 2019, and saw him leave Parr's home in Harwich carrying an orange Sainsbury's carrier bag and drive away in a Range Rover.

He was followed to the Camperdown Pit scrapyard, which was owned by Fenton, and was seen going into a large shipping container at the site

Officers from the cyber, intelligence and serious organised crime directorate then swooped and arrested Southart and Fenton,

The officers then went to Parr's home and discovered around £6,000 worth of cannabis along with the benzocaine in a cupboard at his home.

Gemma Rose, for Southart, said there were others above him in the conspiracy and his involvement had been brief.

Richard Conley, for Parr, described his client as having a number of vulnerabilities and said his home had been used as a convenient storage place. 

“He appreciated there was something fishy about the benzocaine but he hadn’t joined up the dots and realised it was part of a bigger enterprise,” said Mr Conley.

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