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Gang jailed after UK's largest seizure of heroin and cocaine

|News, Drug offences

Members of an organised crime gang who were arrested after the UK’s largest seizure of Class A drugs have been jailed. 

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Guy Remington, 48, from Hereford, Luke Hirst, 37, of Deeside, Thomas Smith, 41, from Liverpool and Morgan Towner, 47, of Leatherhead in Surrey, were involved in the importation and distribution of millions of pounds of heroin and cocaine.

Remington imported the drugs from Europe through the channel tunnel by hiding them in secret compartments in a trailer and took them to Hirst’s farm, Tirlas Goch in Deeside. They were then parcelled up separately and taken away to be distributed throughout the UK.

Smith, a Class A drug dealer based in Liverpool, took the drugs from the farm for onward distribution through his network of suppliers.

drugs to be couriered on

Towner took drugs from the farm down to the south of England using a van with a hidden compartment designed to conceal the drugs.

Between May and September 2023, Remington made nine trips to Europe via the Eurotunnel, bringing millions of pounds worth of cocaine and heroin back into the country.

drugs officer seizing drugs

On 20 September 2023, police moved in on the farm and arrested Remington, after he’d brought in another consignment of drugs. Hirst was arrested nearby in a taxi.  Cocaine and heroin with a potential street value of over £64 million was recovered.

drug dealer with cash

Smith was arrested at a house in Garrowby Drive, Liverpool on 18 October and Towner on 26 October 2023 at a house in Station Road in Leatherhead.

Mobile phones found at the farm, and on the arrest of Towner and Smith, contained messages showing the high level of organisation and planning involved in this sophisticated criminal operation. 

Stacks of seized drugs

Remington was charged with Conspiracy to import and supply Class A drugs. Hirst, Smith and Towner were charged with Conspiracy to supply Class A Drugs.  Smith was further charged with possession with intent to supply MDMA and possession of cannabis. All four men pleaded guilty at a hearing in Chester Crown Court on 2 November 2023.

On 21 March 2024, at Chester Crown Court they were sentenced to :

Guy Remington 18 years Imprisonment

Luke Hirst 12 years Imprisonment

Thomas Smith 18 years imprisonment

Morgan Towner 7 years imprisonment

Senior Crown Prosecutor Nicola Wyn Williams of CPS Mersey-Cheshire’s Complex Casework Unit said: “ ‘This was a slick operation carried out with precision and planning.  It is possibly the last thing that you could imagine happening at a farm in rural North Wales.

"But that was the key. The rural location provided privacy for the group to unload the huge quantities of heroin and cocaine stashed in a hide in the trailer. The nearby A55 and motorway network allowed couriers to collect and be on their way to distribute the drugs for onward supply all over the country.

"Once it was known that the defendant Remington had left the UK on 18 September 2023, it was believed that he would return in possession of Class A drugs.

"The Crown Prosecution Service worked with officers from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit as they intervened and arrested those involved at or near the farm.  Others were arrested on later dates.

"In the face of overwhelming evidence, all those charged have pleaded guilty and the sentences today reflect the scale and sophistication of the operation and should act as a deterrent to those involved in the importation and supply of Class A drugs."

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