Posted: Sat 29th Jun 2024

Man jailed for part in major drug smuggling operation that used Deeside parcel depot

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

A fourth man from Liverpool has been jailed for his role in a major international drug smuggling operation that utilised the UPS depot in Deeside.

Christopher Gibney, 55, of Grenadier Drive, Liverpool, conspired with criminals in the UK and abroad to import Class A drugs into the country via the global shipping service, UPS.

Gibney was sentenced at Mold Crown Court today (Friday, June 28) to 21 years in prison for conspiracy to import and supply Class A drugs.

The sentencing follows the imprisonment of three other men in March 2021 for their roles in the conspiracy.

Gibney had fled to Spain and evaded capture for over three years before being apprehended in the Costa Del Sol and extradited to the UK.

The other men involved in the conspiracy, Daniel Taylor, 44, from Holywell, Darren Roberts, 50, from Bagillt, and Stephen Metcalf, 47, from Bromborough, Wirral, were each jailed for 15 years.

Taylor, a UPS employee, intercepted packages of heroin and cocaine at the Deeside depot without scanning them, then delivered the parcels to Roberts, who passed them to Metcalf on behalf of Gibney.

Detectives estimated that over 150 packages were smuggled between May 2019 and October 2020.

The sophisticated operation was exposed by Operation Venetic, an international initiative targeting criminals using the encrypted mobile service EncroChat.

Detective Inspector Dave Worthington from North West Regional organised crime unit (NWROCU) Operations Team highlighted the severity of the group’s operations and the success of their investigation.

“This group, led by Gibney, ran a sophisticated operation, importing multi-kilos of Class A drugs into the UK. They made huge sums of money from their criminal activity, and the length of the prison sentence Gibney has received today demonstrates the seriousness of his offending.”

Neil Keeping, NCA Regional Manager for Spain, also emphasised the importance of international cooperation in apprehending Gibney and dismantling the crime group. “Gibney went to great lengths to evade capture, but through intense work by the Spanish National Police and our overseas officers, we located and arrested him on the Costa del Sol before extraditing him to the UK.”

 

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