Pair on trial over £8.5m haul of cannabis resin found in lorry on country lane near Ashford
Police swooped on a lorry in a country lane and seized a massive haul of cannabis resin worth up to £8.5million on the street - the biggest ever in Kent, a court heard.
The 1,701 kilos of the drug were in two large containers that had just been collected from an industrial unit at a farm in Ashford.
The lorry driver, Hugh Webb, and two others - Michael Malone and Martin Merritt - were arrested at the scene of the crime, Maidstone Crown Court was told.
Drugs stashed inside metal boxes in a lorry
Webb, of Dagenham, Essex, denies conspiracy to supply cannabis.
He is on trial with Marek Sieprawski, of Oldbury, West Midlands, who denies a similar charge in relation to 200 kilos of the drug seized in Paddock Wood.
Malone, of Hove, East Sussex, his brother Danny, of Collier Street, Tonbridge, and Merritt, of Dagenham have admitted the offence.
Prosecutor Steven Perian said Danny Malone, 43, was put at the very heart of the supply chain and featured in both seizures.
Danny Malone had rented a unit at Daniels Water Farm in Great Chart, Ashford, in February.
His brother told the owner on March 7 he wanted to unload the unit.
A lorry arrived the next day driven by Webb, 52, along with a Mercedes. Two large containers were loaded onto it and Webb drove off, followed by the car driven by Malone, 46, with Merritt, 39, as a passenger.
Mr Perian said officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate pounced, stopping the lorry in nearby Sandy Lane on the A28.
Some of the huge haul of cannabis resin found by police
The jury was shown video film of the Glen Gibbard Transport lorry and containers and Webb in handcuffs nearby.
He told officers: "I am just doing a job. My boss doesn't know I am doing this." He added there was a "monkey" (£500) in his jacket, which was for making the pick-up.
Merritt had a knuckleduster on him when arrested with Malone.
Mr Perian said the cannabis retrieved from boxes was worth up to just over £2million wholesale but between £4.89million and £8.5million on the street.
The other seizure was four days earlier on March 4 near Paddock Wood railway station.
Officers moved in as Danny Malone and Sieprawski, 34, arrived in separate vans and stopped in a lay-by in Queen Street and discovered 200 kilos of cannabis worth £200,000 wholesale.
Mr Perian said Sieprawski had driven from the West Midlands to make the delivery. He claimed he thought the packages contained cigarettes.
The trial continues.
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