Cement mixer drug gang jailed

A gang of criminals, caught red-handed as they prepared to flood the streets of Britain with drugs, have been jailed .

Surveillance officers looked on as the plotters amassed equipment for their multimillion-pound operation in Coventry and Amsterdam.

They bought a specialist pill-making machine, sunk safes into the ground and even bought a cement mixer to add bulking agents to maximise their profits.

Eight men were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to a raft of drugs offences, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) said.

The gang was led by Anthony Spencer, 61, of Keresley, Coventry, a dedicated criminal who has spent time in prison for drugs, firearms, fraud and theft.

He was jailed again for five years three months after admitting conspiracy to supply and import amphetamine and cannabis.

Spencer was caught after undercover police tailed him for months as he met associates to found his new drugs empire.

The men were linked to a farm and a flat in Amsterdam that were being used as warehouses and preparation factories.

When Dutch armed police raided the farm in January last year using a bulldozer to get inside they seized 100kg of amphetamine and 50kg of cannabis.

Investigators turned their attention to Britain as the remaining gang members prepared to ramp up their activities.

They found the cement mixer in a caravan in Coventry and buried safes at Spencer's home, a derelict site in Castle Road, Nuneaton, and in a garden in Synkere Close, Coventry.

In a bizarre twist, investigators found Spencer's son wrote a comic book about drug trafficking, Smuggling Vacation, using his father as a "crime consultant".

Copies were found at nearly every address searched by police and in a box of amphetamine delivered to an address in Sheffield.

It also emerged that one of the gang members was a former prison governor who provided cash deposits and buried one of the safes in his garden.

Andy Sellers, of Soca, said: "These are career criminals who wanted to make a lot of money through drug trafficking with no regard for the harm they would cause communities and individuals.

"They spent a long time planning how they were going to flood the UK with vast quantities of drugs but we were one step ahead of them.

"We were watching their every move and the evidence obtained was so strong they had no choice but to plead guilty."

Three of the men sentenced today were: Christopher Pollock, 37, of Exhall, Coventry, jailed for three years, three months; former prison governor Jogendranath Rajcoomar, 57, of Exhall, Coventry, jailed for three years nine months and his son Sunil Rajcoomar, 25, of no fixed abode, who was jailed for two years.

Others jailed were Michael McGlinchey, 58, of Coventry, jailed for three years two months; John Mitchell, 40, of Greenhithe, Kent, jailed for four years three months; Mark Adderley, 52, of Harbourne, Birmingham, jailed for three years nine months and Stephen Lismore, 41, of Grantham, Lincolnshire, jailed for three years two months.

Dutch Police prosecuted five members of the network, including two men from Coventry who were living in Amsterdam. They were jailed for a total of 15 years.