A lorry driver caught smuggling 2.6 million cigarettes through Dover in pallets of dry pasta has been jailed for three years.
Drug Gang Jailed
A close-knit network of four drug dealers have been jailed for a total of more than 39 years for conspiring to supply illegal drugs worth thousands of pounds.
Canterbury Crown Court heard during a seven-week trial how Joseph King, 48, his brother Samuel King, 47, Matthew Newin, 26, and Craig Provan, 41, worked as a highly organised and profitable group, controlling street dealing in a number of towns across Kent.
They were caught and prosecuted by officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate after undercover police officers successfully infiltrated their network. Thousands of pounds of heroin, cocaine and ecstasy were exchanged during more than a dozen transactions between June and September last year.
Joseph King, 48, of Lavender Road, West Malling, was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment. He was convicted yesterday of conspiracy to supply heroin and ecstasy, possessing amphetamine with intent to supply and three counts of possessing firearms with intent to endanger life. He was also found guilty of possession of criminal property (£36,405) but not guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Samuel King, 47, of Elm Grove, Sittingbourne, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years. He was found not guilty of conspiracy to supply ecstasy, possession with intent to supply amphetamine and three counts of possessing firearms with intent to endanger life. He had earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin.
Craig Provan, 41, of The Paddock, Highsted Valley, Rodmersham, was sentenced to six years. He was found guilty of conspiracy to supply heroin and ecstasy and had earlier admitted encouraging the supply of cannabis.
Matthew Newin, 26, of Swanstree Avenue, Sittingbourne, who admitted conspiring to supply cocaine, heroin and ecstasy and encouraging the supply of cannabis, was sentenced to eight years.
Judge Adele Williams QC, in sentencing, told Joseph King: ' You are merchants of misery and sometimes death. You clearly were the head or centre of this criminal enterprise, directing it from the centre of operations at Hoath Woods which was where you stashed the drugs and guns. You are ruthless and cunning without remorse."
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