Two men have been jailed for a total of 37 years after being found guilty of smuggling drugs with an estimated street value of £4.9 million.
Carl Haynes, 42, of Upchurch Walk, Margate, was sentenced to 17 years and Dean Castle, 31, of Harbour View Road, Dover was sentenced to 20 years yesterday after trying to smuggle drugs into the UK hidden in oil drums.
Their trial came after UK Border Agency officers stopped a British-registered lorry being driven by Carl Haynes at Dover’s Eastern Docks in Kent in February. After questioning Haynes officers searched the lorry and its load of mixed goods.
They found thirteen oil drums labelled as containing lubricant allegedly heading for a company in Maidstone. Officers opened the drums and found approximately 26 kilos of heroin, 80 kilos of amphetamine, 147 kilos of cannabis, over 40,000 tablets and 517 grams of MDMA (ecstasy).
The haulage company involved was Dean Castle Transport based in Dover and enquiries by officers led to the arrest of owner Dean Castle. A search of Castle’s home provided evidence of other similar importations over the preceding months, which both men were also charged over.
They were both charged on five counts of being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition of controlled drugs. They were found guilty by a jury after a 13 day trial.
Malcolm Bragg from Border Force said: ‘Drug smuggling is a vile business that exploits the misery of others for an easy profit.
‘The sentences handed down today should act as a warning to those who attempt to smuggle illegal drugs into this country. The message is clear - if you are involved in drug smuggling we will catch you and you will go to jail for a long time.’