Two drug barons from Dudley in the West Midlands have been sentenced for attempting to smuggle drugs worth around £1.75 million into the UK.
Michael Williams, 37, and Jessica Waldron, 36, were both arrested by National Crime Agency officers at Heathrow in December 2019 in an operation supported by Border Force.
The pair had just arrived into Heathrow as passengers on a flight from Bogota, Colombia.
The drugs had been concealed in their checked-in baggage. However, the pair did not realise that Colombian police, who were working with the NCA, had already carried out searches of their bags in Bogota airport.
The Colombians had removed the 22 kilo blocks of cocaine and substituted them for blocks of wood.
After being arrested and questioned by NCA officers following their arrival into Heathrow Waldron and Williams were charged with attempting to import class A drugs.
Both later admitted charges and today (10 October) they were sentenced to six years and eight months each.
NCA Heathrow Operations Manager Darren Barr said:
“Organised crime groups need couriers like Waldron and Williams for their business model to function.
“Their role is crucial in a chain that starts with the cartels that produce drugs in South America and ends with violent street gangs on UK towns and cities.
“I hope the sentences handed out to today make those who would consider getting involved in such an enterprise to think again. It simply isn’t worth it.”