Two males who attempted to smuggle Class A drugs into the UK through parcels camouflaged as including tinned items have been sentenced to a total of 15 years in jail, following a joint examination by the Metropolitan Police Service and the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Daniel Kelly, 43 (261078) of no set address was sentenced to 6 and a half years’ jail time for fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of a Class A drug (in essence importation of Class A drugs into the UK).
Steven Gilhooly, 43 (150878) of no set address was sentenced to eight and a half years’ imprisonment for deceptive evasion of a prohibition on the importation of a Class A drug (in essence importation of Class A drugs into the UK).
The pair were sentenced on Wednesday, 12 January at Snaresbook Crown Court.
This comes after Kelly pleaded guilty at the exact same court on Tuesday, 4 January at the very first day of trial, and Gilhooly was condemned by the jury on Tuesday, 11 January.
The court heard that on the 20 and 24 December 2018, two parcels sent from St Lucia predestined for addresses in Charlton and Greenwich in southeast London were taken by customizeds authorities. Though they were referred to as including tinned goods (particularly condensed coconut milk and beans), when subjected to forensic assessment it was determined that secreted within the very first parcel was 1.95 kg of drug and in the second 792 g of cocaine.
An examination was commenced by the NCA, who identified 2 British nationals who had taken a trip to St Lucia in order to facilitate this importation into the UK. They made an International Letter of Request to Saint Lucian authorities requesting their help in this case, leading to vital evidence connecting to the offenses being gotten.
Queries established that officers from the Met’s Trident Group were conducting a separate investigation into the very same people and a joint operation was started between the NCA and Met.
An extensive investigation by officers revealed that in the build-up to this importation, Kelly and Gilhooly had actually bought a maker can sealer and blank tin lids, enabling them to reseal tin cans. They had actually likewise acquired a number of condiments and items which would be sold in St. Lucia.
On 16 December 2018, both Kelly and Gilhooly had flown from London Gatwick to St Lucia, where on arrival they informed officials that they were going into the country for a holiday and it was recorded that they had the can sealer within their luggage.
Officers established that the two parcels later on discovered to contain cocaine were sent from a St. Lucian Post office by Kelly, who utilized a phony driving licence that had his image but incorrect individual information as identification.
On 23 January 2020, Kelly was arrested from jail where he was serving time for a different offence. On the 9 March 2020, Gilhooly was arrested.
Both Kelly and Gilhooly were charged on 22 April 2021, with being worried in the deceitful evasion of a prohibition on the importation of a Class A drug (in essence importation of Class A drugs into the UK).
In total, 2.742 kg of drug was recuperated by officers with an approximated street value of ₤250,000
Detective Inspector Matthew Webb from the Metropolitan Police Expert Crime teams said: “The sentencing is the result of a long-lasting investigation by the Metropolitan Authorities Service and our partners. I would like to provide my thanks to the officer in the case, Detective Constable Phil Rate, the National Criminal Activity Company, Border Force and Saint Lucian authorities who all worked together with us during the course of this protracted investigation.
” This needs to send out a clear and strong message to those intent on permeating our borders that offenses of this nature are taken really seriously and we will leave no stone unturned in bringing them to justice.
” Both males travelled to St. Lucia with the sole function of importing Class A drugs back into the United Kingdom. The unpleasant effect that drugs supply has on our neighborhoods is undeniable and inextricably connected to violence within our neighborhoods. Both males wanted to take such danger with this upseting– thinking they were beyond the reach of the law and intending to monetise earnings. Rather, they now face significant prison sentences. I hope this supplies them the opportunity to review their behaviour and shows that criminal activity doesn’t pay.”
NCA Branch Commander Mark McCormack stated: ” We are figured out to do all we can to tackle the worldwide organised crime networks bringing class A drugs into the UK, where they are pedalled by the same street gangs we see involved in exploitation and violence.
” These males thought they might prevent the UK’s border controls by utilising the fast parcel system, however this is a risk we and our police partners like Border Force and the MPS are alive to. Dealing with them we were able to stop this plot in its tracks, arrest and prosecute those involved, and prevent these drugs for being sold for criminal profit.”