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13 January 2016, 11:17
A man from Basildon has been jailed for three years after admitting trying to smuggle 39 bags of cocaine into the UK by swallowing them.
23 year-old Preston Rogers, who has no fixed address but used to live on Waterville Drive, was stopped by Border Force officers at Stansted Airport on 1 December, 2015 following a flight from Lisbon, Portugal.
He told officials he was returning from a three-day trip to the cuity but when asked for his boarding pass, he also produced an e-ticket showing a trip from Heathrow to Sao Paulo, via Madrid in November.
When asked about the journey and exit stamps in his passport, he admitted he had left the Brazilian city the day before.
Rogers was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow where scans showed he had swallowed a number of "foreign objects.
The UK Border Force says he later passed 39 bags of cocaine, weighing 311g and with a street value of around £40,000.
Phil Douglas, Border Force Heathrow Director, said: "This case shows the extreme lengths smugglers will go to in their attempts to bring Class A drugs into the UK.
"Rogers was risking his life by swallowing packages. If just one had split it could have been fatal.
"Border Force officers are the front line in the fight against smuggling and play a crucial role in protecting the UK from illegal drugs and other contraband.
"Working with law enforcement colleagues including the NCA we are determined to do all we can to prevent drug trafficking and put those responsible behind bars."