Suffolk: Men jailed for 45 years after �34 million cocaine smuggling operation
TWO men have been jailed today for a total of 45 years for their involvement in a �34 million cocaine smuggling operation which resulted in Suffolk police’s largest seizure of class A drugs.
Suffolk company director Terance Smith and unemployed Frederick Colverson were arrested after police raided an industrial unit in Highbury Road, Brandon last October and discovered 174 kilogrammes of high-purity cocaine hidden in the bottom of boxes of pineapples.
Smith, 57, of Ethelreda Drive, Thetford admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs and Colverson, 56, of London denied the charge but was found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court after a two week trial which ended yesterday.
The arrests of the men followed an intelligence led operation which had taken place over several months with officers gathering information relating to the importation of cocaine through Felixstowe Docks.
Colverson was jailed for 25 years and Smith for 20 years.
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Following sentencing today at Ipswich Crown Court Detective Inspector Benny Benford said: “The sentencing at court today emphasises the seriousness of Smith and Colverson’s crime and sends out a strong message to those who maybe following the same criminal path.
“The sentencing follows on from a detailed and lengthy operation involving officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Directorate, Intelligence Directorate and partner agencies including the UK Border Agency and Forensic Services.
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“Suffolk Constabulary is committed to tackling and dismantling organised crime groups. The discovery of �34m worth of cocaine will have a significant impact and disruption on drug activity and criminality taking place within Suffolk and wider areas of the country.”