A drug gang used a helicopter to smuggle £17 million worth of cocaine into the country.
A cocaine trafficking organization in the United Kingdom used helicopters to carry cocaine into the country and avoid detection.
A jury found Craig Costello, 38, Steven Beazley, 40, and John Watson, 41, guilty of conspiring to distribute Class A narcotics.
According to TeessideLive, the men were part of a sophisticated and well-organized drugs organization that inundated the streets of Teesside with cocaine delivered from Merseyside.
Wife breaks down in tears in court after learning that her husband was involved in drug trafficking.
Before the trial began at Teesside Crown Court, a fourth man, David Wright, 42, pled guilty.
The trial was the most recent in relation to Operation Spoonbill, a police operation aimed at dismantling highly complex organized crime gangs that transport narcotics into the UK, mainly in the north-east.
33 other people were convicted in separate trials as part of Operation Spoonbill, getting a total of 262 years in jail.
Lance Kennedy, a Merseyside drug lord who was eventually apprehended in an armed military operation in Ukraine, was among the key figures convicted as part of the operation.
Jonathon Moorby, a kingpin from Teesside, was also sentenced for his role in operating the North-east operation from his base in Thailand in the massive drug-smuggling ring.
Moorby was extradited from Thailand in May and sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in the cocaine sting earlier this year.
The drugs ring even used helicopter drops to transport cocaine into the UK from Europe.
500kg of cocaine with a wholesale value of £17.25 million was smuggled into the UK, according to estimates.
Following the latest convictions, Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Robinson of Cleveland Police’s Organized Crime, Economic, and Cyber Crime Unit has spoken out.
“Cleveland Police is committed to identifying and bringing to justice those participating in this activity, and the Organized Crime Unit works diligently to disrupt and dismantle the networks of those seeking to profit from drugs,” he stated.
“The ability of Cleveland Police to combat serious and organized crime at the highest level is demonstrated by Operation Spoonbill.”
Large quantities of class A drugs, primarily high purity cocaine, were trafficked into the UK via hired helicopter flights from continental Europe, especially Belgium, as part of the sophisticated operation.
The flights would be different from the ones that were submitted. “The summary has come to an end.”