Chelmsford: Drug Smuggler Jailed

A lorry driver from Chelmsford has been jailed for 12 years for trying to smuggle around £4 million worth of drugs into the UK.

Charlie Tomlinson, who is 31 and from Melbourne Avenue, was arrested at Dover's Eastern Docks after 23 kilos of heroin, 10 kilos of cocaine and 23,000 MDMA tablets were discovered in his trailer. 

UK Border Agency Officers had stopped Mr Tomlinson because of an anomoly in the roof of his trailer, which was loaded with pickled onions. 

When they investigated it, the officers found white powder on the drill which then tested positive for cocaine. 

Bolts, which were on the inside of the roof holding the outside in place, were removed and the drugs were found in the the space between the two. 

Tomlinson was found guilty by jury at Maidstone Crown Court today (Friday, August 17) and was sentenced shortly afterwards. 

Malcolm Bragg from Border Force said: "This was a sophisticated drugs concealment and shows the lengths criminals will go to in attempting to evade the UK's border controls. 

"The sentence handed down today should act as a warning to those who attempt to smuggle illegal drugs into this country. Drug use destroys not only the lives of individual users, but also their families and the wider community."