Drugs quartet jailed

Four men have been jailed for their parts in a conspiracy to import and supply 157 kilograms of Class A controlled drugs valued at £14,000,000.

All four appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday April 11, where they were sentenced as follows:

Harry Brydges, 30, of Bessemer Close, Basildon, was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to import and conspiracy to supply Class A controlled drugs.

Harry Simmons, 31, of Parkside, Baisldon, was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to import a Class A controlled drugs.

John Taylor, 29, of Lobelia Mews, Laindon, was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to supply Class A controlled drugs.

Milos Stevanovic, 27, of no fixed address was sentenced to 11 years and 8 months imprisonment for conspiracy to import a Class A controlled drugs.

All four had previously pleaded guilty at the same court.

This outcome was the result of a joint operation between Northamptonshire Police and the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.

On April 23, 2021 officers from Northamptonshire stopped an Audi Q7 on the M1 motorway travelling toward London. A search of the vehicle recovered 85 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride. John Taylor was arrested for possession with intent to supply Class A controlled drugs.

On May 12, 2021, specialist Met officers witnessed Harry Brydges, an associate of John Taylor, meet with another associate of Taylor, Harry Simmons. Brydges passed Simmons £9,000 in cash which Simmons took to Gravesend where he met lorry driver Milos Stevanovic, a Bosnian national.

Simmons and Stevanovic were arrested as they unloaded 37 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride and 35 kilograms of MDMA crystals, which has just entered the UK in the lorry driven by Stevanovic.

An arrest enquiry was conducted at Brydges’ address in Basildon, during which he jumped from a first floor window in a bid to escape.

Detective Inspector Dave Williams of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said: “This case clearly highlights the positive outcomes that can be achieved through joint working.

“Working in partnership with our colleagues in Northamptonshire we have dismantled a network that used UK motorways to distribute drugs around the country.

“Despite the pandemic, there was a clear motivation to flood the UK with significant amounts of harmful Class A drugs that fuel violence, increase the chances of vulnerable youngsters being exploited into county lines, and ultimately affects the quality of life for our communities.

“We remain committed to tackling the importation and sale of illegal drugs and the sentences handed down clearly demonstrate the seriousness of these crimes.”

Detective Superintendent Rich Tompkins from Northamptonshire Police said: “I’m really pleased with the results of this joint operation with our Met colleagues, and the successful conviction of these individuals.

“It shows that by forces working together we can tackle the scourge of drug dealers who use our road networks to transport and distribute illegal, harmful drugs into our towns and cities.

“I hope it sends a message to others concerned with this type of organised crime. We will proactively pursue you and when caught you will face a significant prison sentence and have your assets seized.”

Any young people who have information about drug dealing or want information about the consequences of drug crime, can visit www.fearless.org to where they can pass on information anonymously – your I.P address will not be traced. Fearless is part of the Crimestoppers charity, and is also independent of the police.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]