Specialists in Serious Fraud and Complex Criminal Defence
Client found Not Guilty by Jury at Bristol Crown Court of a Conspiracy to Import Cocaine
A Bristol Jury unanimously found our client Not Guilty of a Conspiracy to Import Class A Drugs (cocaine) from Jamaica. The case involved eighteeen defendants said to be an organised criminal network involved in large-scale international drug smuggling. At the start of the proceedings a large number of defendants pleaded guilty and are now awaiting sentence. Our client consistently denied the allegations and we fully prepared this case for trial.
The case was investigated and prosecuted by the specialist Zephyr regional crime group that was established in September 2010 to disrupt, dismantle and destroy serious and organised crime across the South West of England. It is made up of three sections – the Operational Team, the Intelligence Team (RIU) and the Financial Team (RART). Zephyr also works with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) now known as the National Crime Agency (NCA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA), the South-West Trading Standards Enforcement Team and the Crown Prosecution Service.
The investigation involved months of evidence gathering including covert surveillance; the use of listening devices placed in target vehicles; cell site and mobile phone evidence and banking evidence to track movement of monies. The drugs were said to have been imported into the UK through the use of complicit freight forwarders based near London Heathrow Airport who would divert shipments of drugs to the gang and creating a false paper trial through use of false identities.
We were able to advance a positive and proactive defence to secure the acquittal of our client. At MPR our criminal defence solicitors work with our clients and explore each of the options in looking to achieve the best outcomes. Our experience and results in dealing with serious and complex drug trafficking and importation cases is an important factor why we are instructed to defend in such cases.