Published: 18:10, 12 January 2022
| Updated: 18:32, 12 January 2022
A wedding photographer who claimed he unknowingly tried to smuggle kilos of heroin into Kent has been jailed.
Ezekiel Rose’s motorcycle was stopped at the inbound Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelle when £100,000 worth of the Class A drug was discovered.
Two “TT” stamped brown taped packages were found lodged inside a void tucked in the rear carrier box.
The 40-year-old would claim he believed the packages contained cannabis and he must have been duped during a deal in the Netherlands.
He pleaded guilty to one count of importation of a controlled drug at Canterbury Crown Court on October 28 but claimed he believed to be carrying cannabis.
But a judge described Rose’s account as “highly implausible” and handed down a five-year-and- two-month prison sentence.
“The reason why the court has such concern is because the sale of heroin brings with it, in its wake, serious harm,” Judge Mark Weekes told Rose.
The judge added heroin “blights communities” and “destroys lives” before ordering destruction of the drugs, worth about £100,000 in street value.
After being stopped on October 26 last year Rose claimed he had been to northern Spain to take photographs and view a house.
But investigators realised he was telling a pack of lies because he wasn’t out of the country for long enough for the alleged journey.
Rose, from Pimlico in London, told Canterbury Crown Court today he in fact met a stranger in an unknown Dutch town who handed him the packages for £1,000.
The father-of-five then claimed he then tried driving the cannabis over the border without checking the content.
But prosecutor Eleanor Lucas dissected Rose’s account in cross-examination.
“Did you ask to look inside the packages?” she asked.
“No,” he replied.
“Had you not thought that maybe flour was in the package? So you handed over £1,000 without checking the package?” she continued.
“Yes,” he claimed.
Rose argued he didn’t check the content because he was “just thinking about getting home.”
Mark Howes, branch commander at the NCA, said after sentencing: “This was a crude attempt to bring Class A drugs into the UK.
“Rose had created a backstory to try and fool investigators, packing photography and camping equipment above the hide which we believe was created specifically for smuggling.
“Heroin brings exploitation and violence to the streets and we work closely with partners to target smugglers at the border.”