Harlesden man admits plot to smuggle £24m drugs hidden in carpets

Marc Howell admitted drug offences

Marc Howell admitted drug offences - Credit: Archant

A Harlesden has admitted plotting to smuggle £24million worth of drugs into the country by hiding them in wrapped up carpets.

Left to right: Jon Euesden, Martin Beckett, Stuart Openshaw and Lee Jones

Left to right: Jon Euesden, Martin Beckett, Stuart Openshaw and Lee Jones - Credit: Archant

Marc Howell, 45, of Bramshill Road, was part of a five-strong gang behind the audacious scheme which involved cannabis being concealed in industrial tubes inside the carpets.

He pleaded guilty to the supply of a controlled drug namely cannabis and possession with intent to supply a controlled Class A drug namely cocaine and possession with intent to supply a Class B drug; namely Ketamine.

Wood Green Crown Court heard the gang were caught after detectives from Waltham Forest intercepted a lorry containing 350kg of skunk cannabis which had arrived in the UK from Holland last September.

The drugs, worth more than £2m, were found hidden in industrial pipes disguised within the carpet rolls.

The drugs were found hidden in wrapped up carpets

The drugs were found hidden in wrapped up carpets - Credit: Archant

Further investigations led to the arrest of the gang and when Howell was held officers found 60 grams of cocaine, 10 grams of Ketamine and more than £10,000 at his home.

His accomplices Martin Henry Beckett, 42, from Theydon Bois, Essex, Lee Jones, 47, from Ongar, Jonathon Zac Euesden, 44, from Loughton, and Stuart Openshaw, 28, from Hampshire, all admitted a variety of drug offences.

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DS Tom Mallinson, from Waltham Forest CID, said: “I am delighted with the convictions in this case. It sends out a clear message to those who think importing and supplying Class A and B drugs is a way to earn a living.

“This gang created a complex conspiracy to conceal their criminal activity and the impact on the people of London and the Home Counties was severe.

“The investigation identified a sophisticated network across the United Kingdom and my team worked across Europe with our partners to secure this conviction. I am grateful to everyone involved.”

All five will be sentenced at a later date.

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