By Court Reporter 21/06 Updated: 21/06 16:21
A 'WAREHOUSEMAN' and three drug couriers have been jailed following a police swoop on a distribution unit on a Redditch business park.
Malcolm Masters, who was said to have been ‘at the hub’ of the enterprise, Keith Langton and James Pratt had all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis.
Langton, 29, and of Goodrich Close, Redditch, who acted as Masters’s ‘warehouseman,’ was jailed for four years at Warwick Crown Court.
Pratt, 28 and of Wolverson Road, Walsall, was jailed for two years while Arvinder Brar, 38 of Hayes, Middlesex and Brian Randall, 60 and from Benfleet in Essex - who both denied the charges but were found guilty following a trial - were sentenced to three years each.
Masters, 52 and of Banners Lane also in Redditch, had his sentencing adjourned and was remanded in custody.
In April last year police were watching Unit C4 on the Imex Business Park in Redditch and witnessed a lorry arrive from Holland at 9.30am which was then unloaded with what was believed to be the drugs later seized.
Langton arrived about midday on a motorbike and took a number of flat-pack boxes into the unit which were used to package the drugs for distribution.
During the afternoon Masters made three trips in a green Isuzu 4x4 to a car park where, in turn, he met up with Pratt, Randall and Brar who had arrived in other vehicles.
Leaving Pratt to wait on the car park, Masters drove the Fiat Ducato in which Pratt had arrived back to the unit where it was loaded with cannabis and then back to the car park. He carried out an identical procedure with the Transit van being driven by Randall.
When Pratt was stopped on the A441 heading towards the M42 officers found 390 kilos of cannabis resin with a potential street value of just over £1million.
Randall was arrested at Warwick services on the M40 and the Transit found to contain 180 kilos of herbal cannabis worth up to £1.285million.
When the unit was raided police found a further 107 kilos of skunk cannabis, 297 kilos of resin and over 69 kilos of compressed seeded cannabis with a combined potential value of £1.8m. The total haul was just over one metric tonne of various types of cannabis with a street value of just over £4.1million.
At Masters’ home they found cash, laundry bags of the type used to parcel up the drugs at the unit, and a phone on which he had received calls from Langton, Pratt and Randall.
Nick Devine, for Langton said he had been brought in by a third party and was taken aback by the scale of operation and had no managerial or organisation role.
Michael Anning, for Pratt, said he had no knowledge of the wider conspiracy.
"It was one day; a one-off."
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