May 20 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, July 26, 2012
TWO MEN are facing lengthy jail sentences 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 today.
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.
The operation culminated on October 31 when officers attended the premises of 24/7 Import Export (Europe) Ltd in Highbury Road after a container carrying the drugs was delivered to the premises.
After Colverson’s guilty verdict Judge John Devaux adjourned sentence to August 7 to allow him to be sentenced with Smith. He remanded Colverson in custody and told him to expect a long prison sentence.
A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act will take place at a later date.
Following yesterday’s hearing Det. Insp. Benny Benford said, “The result at court follows 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.
“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.”
During the trial the court heard that police watched a lorry arrive at the industrial unit, which was registered to Smith, on October 31 and heard animated reactions as the cargo was opened.
David Holborn, prosecuting, said, “Somebody was very excited about what he’d received.”
Giving evidence Colverson said he went to the unit in Highbury Road, Brandon, to visit his friend Terance Smith and had planned to go with him to look at some cars that were for sale.
He admitted there had been a number of telephone calls between him and Smith during the day but denied they had been discussing the delivery of the drugs.
Cross-examined by Mr Holborn Colverson agreed that Smith was his best friend and that by not telling him about the delivery of cocaine to the unit that day Smith had “dropped him in it.”
Asked by Mr Holborn, “You must be furious?” Colverson replied, “Yes”.
Colverson admitted he had made money transfers abroad in false names but denied he was sending money he was earning from drugs out of the country.