Three members of an organised crime group who attempted to smuggle £3 million of Class A and B drugs into Dublin have been jailed for a total of 27 years and five months.
The gang were found with 30 kilos of cocaine, 45 kilos of cannabis, 15 kilos of MDMA and two kilos of ketamine following an investigation by the joint NCA and Metropolitan Police’s Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).
Christopher Rigg, aged 52, of no fixed address, Wayne Sudbury, aged 40, from Crosby in Merseyside, and Artur Jaku-Graham, aged 32, of no fixed address, were jailed for 10 years nine months, 10 years eight months and six years respectively today (10 January) at Liverpool Crown Court.
All three had pleaded guilty to drugs offences at an earlier hearing.
On 4 June last year, OCP officers watched as Wayne Sudbury drove to an industrial estate in Queensferry, Deeside, and met up with HGV lorry driver Christopher Rigg.
Sudbury was seen handing two large boxes to Rigg, who then drove to Holyhead port in Anglesey.
As Rigg attempted to catch a ferry to Dublin, he was stopped by Border Force officers.
A search of the trailer uncovered the two boxes, which contained 26 kilos of cocaine, and Rigg was subsequently arrested on suspicion of importing controlled drugs.
Meanwhile, Sudbury stayed at the industrial estate where he met with Artur Jaku-Graham and handed him a bag containing a further four kilos of cocaine. After Sudbury drove off, Jaku-Graham was stopped by OCP officers.
They searched his vehicle and found packages containing four kilos of cocaine.
He was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the supply of controlled drugs.
Sudbury drove back to Merseyside and was arrested at his home.
A search uncovered 45 kilos of cannabis, 15 kilos of MDMA, nearly two kilos of ketamine and two kilos of cutting agent hidden in a loft bedroom.
An unused encrypted mobile phone and £3,740 in cash were found in a cupboard beneath the stairs.
Sudbury was arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A controlled drugs and possession of Class A and Class B with intent to supply.
Matt McMillan, OCP Operations Manager, said: “The OCP, working with our colleagues from the NCA Armed Operations Unit and UK Border Force, have successfully disrupted an organised crime network involved in the large scale supply of Class A and B drugs
“Those involved in the supply of drugs perpetuate the culture of violence and we will use all the specialist capabilities available to us to combat this threat.
I have no doubt the public are safer now Rigg, Sudbury and Jaku-Graham are behind bars.”