Dad and son jailed for £14m drug haul
THESE pictures reveal a “massive” £14m cocaine haul smuggled in a lorry from Holland to Liverpool under cardboard packaging.
Four men, including two from Skelmersdale, were jailed on Tuesday for nearly 37 years in total, after police discovered the 84kg load when they raided an industrial unit in Speke.
More than £100,000 of heroin and £60,000 in cash was then seized at homes in Skelmersdale, Leeds and St Albans.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that covert officers photographed Skelmersdale father and son Stephen and Bradley Kelly at the Spindus Road unit on February 2 this year.
The pair unloaded cocaine from the lorry, then transferred it in 1kg blocks to a van, which Steven drove to Teversham, Skelmersdale, to meet couriers in five vehicles.
These included Damian Woolerton and Jason Clarke, who was seen loading 8kg in transparent plastic crates into a van.
William Baker, prosecuting, said a lorry arrived at the unit again at 5.05am on February 23, before the Kellys came to unload it.
He said: “It had been driven through the night from the Netherlands with a cover load of cardboard packaging destined for Ireland.”
But police were waiting and stormed the unit, catching the Kellys and the lorry driver with 84kg of 88% pure cocaine.
Stephen had an encrypted mobile phone, which police have never been able to access, because the crook claimed he forgot the code.
When Bradley’s mum’s home in Teversham was searched, officers retrieved £52,940 from the loft and £1,980 in the hall, hidden by Stephen.
A search of Stephen’s property in Charnock, Skelmersdale, revealed around 1kg of 63% pure heroin, in two vacuumpacked brown packages.
Police raided Clarke’s home in Dellfield, St Albans, on March 6 and found more than 2kg of 86% pure cocaine, collected from Stephen.
They searched Woolerton’s property in Ivy Crescent, Leeds, on March 7 and seized a 1kg block of 73% pure cocaine, plus 126g of cocaine in a tin. He also had nearly 1kg of heroin in his home.
All four men made no comment when interviewed by police.
Cocaine user Stephen, 55, admitted conspiracies to import and supply cocaine, and possession with intent to supply heroin.
John Harrison, defending, said the grandad had two families, including two young daughters, but had £86,000 of loan debts.
Bradley Kelly, 35, formerly of Teversham, Skelmersdale, now of Vernon Way, in Bloxwich, Walsall, admitted conspiracy to import cocaine.
Julian Nutter, defending, said the plasterer had a son with his girlfriend, but they lost their home because of his arrest.
Ex-drug addict and dad-of-three Woolerton, 44, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession with intent to supply heroin.
Former NHS worker Clarke, 49, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Recorder Stephen Riordan, QC, jailed Stephen for 13 and a half years; Bradley for nine years and four months; Woolerton for eight years; and Clarke for six years.
Det Insp Nick Hughes, from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: ““I’m really pleased that these dangerous individuals have been taken off our streets, along with a massive amount of cocaine that could have had deadly consequences if brought into circulation.”