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Sheerness: Four men facing prison after smuggling and delivering £2.1m of cannabis to industrial unit on Lower Road

Four men who smuggled three-quarters of a tonne of cannabis with a street value of more than £2.1m into Kent are facing prison.

The drugs were driven into the country from Spain and delivered to a fictional company called 'Levante European', based at a rented industrial unit on Lower Road, Sheerness, on September 30, 2016.

National Crime Agency officers had the area under surveillance and watched as the drugs were unloaded from the van by John Downes.

Drugs were found hidden under bags of dog food (2861948)
Drugs were found hidden under bags of dog food (2861948)

Brothers Kevin, 57 and John Downes, 58 and Brian Chapman, 64 - all from Bermondsey, south London - were subsequently arrested, with Thomas Abrahams, 73, being arrested the following month.

Abrahams was found guilty of conspiracy to import controlled drugs into the UK on June 28 following a two-week trial at the Old Bailey, while the Downes brothers and Chapman pleaded guilty at earlier court hearings.

The men are all due to be sentenced next month.

Paul Green, NCA operations manager, said: “This is a significant disruption of an organised crime network intent on bringing illegal drugs into the UK.

“The cannabis had a street value of more than £2.1 m and no doubt they proceeds would have funded further criminality.

"We take all importations of illegal drugs seriously and this joint operation with colleagues from Kent and Essex police has prevented a substantial quantity of drugs from ending up on our streets.”

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