A couple have been jailed after Border Force officers seized cocaine with an estimated street value of £500,000.
Everald Lottry, 43, and Maxine Coleman, 42, of Crystal Place Road, Dulwich were sentenced to six years each by a judge at Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday 15 August.
On 1 April a consignment from Los Angeles, labelled as clothing, was searched by Border Force officers at East Midlands Airport and found to contain cocaine wrapped in noodles all inside tin cans.
The case was handed over to the Middle Market Drugs Partnership, a joint Met police and Serious Organised Crime Agency enforcement team. Officers saw Maxine Coleman sign for the package at an address in London before joining Lottry and driving back to their home.
Officers forced entry and found the drugs unpacked plus approximately £15,000 in cash, along with another small amount of cocaine. Lottry tried to escape through a bathroom window but was arrested along with Coleman on suspicion of importing Class A drugs and money laundering. They were charged with importation of Class A drugs on 4 April.
Border Force’s Peter Avery said: ‘This was a significant amount of cocaine which would have made the smugglers a sizable profit had it reached the streets.
‘Border Force officers are on constant alert at our ports and airports to keep illegal drugs and other banned substances out of the UK. Through our close work with our law enforcement partners we are having a significant impact on the criminal gangs responsible for this kind of smuggling.’
Detective Inspector Bob Boggon from the Middle Market Drugs Unit said: ‘This consignment of cocaine was heading straight for the streets of the capital. Through the good work of my officers and our partners we have managed to seize half a million pounds of drugs and prevent future consignments making it into the UK.’
Both will now be subject to confiscation orders for the proceeds of their criminal acts.