5 July 2017
Between June 2015 and July 2016 57 packages of cannabis were sent on routes operated by delivery drivers Andrae Davis, 43, of Willenhall, Walsall, (pictured top) and Vincent Simpson, 42, of Stoke-On-Trent (pictures second), a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation found.
Davis and Simpson were today each imprisoned for two years and four months at Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square).
Back of a van
The smuggling route was discovered after Border Force officers detected a package containing 8.3kg of cannabis at a Post Office depot in Coventry in October 2015.
Border Force detected 16 of the deliveries in total, each labelled for fake addresses in Stockport.
The drivers would make a false record of a successful delivery on the Parcel Force system.
The Royal Mail investigations team examined Parcel Force records and identified a further 41 deliveries that used the same method.
The total estimated weight for the deliveries is 440kg.
Davis's sentence was for a single count of conspiracy to import cannabis with street value of £231,942.
Simpson's sentence was for a count of conspiracy to import cannabis with a street value of £525,571 and a second count of cannabis possession for which he recieved 28 days' concurrent imprisonment.
NCA officers arrested Davis in December 2015. He was re-arrested in June last year along with Simpson.
John Hughes, operations manager at the NCA, said: “In partnership with investigators at Royal Mail and Border Force officers, we’ve put an end to a smuggling route that was capable of moving significant quantities of drugs.
“With a case like this one, yes, we’ve stopped cannabis being smuggled but it’s important to think what else could have been sent via these couriers if those at the other end of the supply chain had diversified their criminal activity.
“This shows the vital importance of working with partners in law enforcement and industry to defeat criminal threats to the UK.”