Van driver caught with enormous 183kg of heroin worth £16m hidden in catering supplies


Packages containing millions of pounds worth of heroin and cocaine were found inside a van driven by Ross Patrick Deffley last year as he was today sentenced to ten years in prison

Ross Patrick Deffley
Ross Patrick Deffley was stopped at Dover in September and his van was raided with millions of pounds worth of drugs found

A van driver who tried to smuggle heroin and cocaine worth £16.5m by hiding it within catering supplies has been jailed for ten years.

Ross Patrick Deffley, 26, was stopped at the border at Dover on September 21 by the National Crime Agency.

He was arrested after a search of the vehicle by Border Force officers found the canisters contained 183 kilos of the Class A drugs.

Investigators found the fingerprints of Deffley, from Solihull, Birmingham, on multiple packages inside the van.

He was convicted of two counts of attempting to import the drugs in November, and had earlier been convicted of possession of an offensive weapon.

The 26-year-old was hiding £16.5m of Class A drugs within catering supplies

Deffley was sentenced to ten years in prison at Canterbury Crown Court today.

NCA Branch Commander Mark Howes said: “This was an extremely large amount of Class A drugs, with an estimated street value of £16.5 million.

“The seizure would have been a major blow to the criminal network likely to be behind the attempted importation.

“Organised crime groups involved in drug trafficking are often responsible for violence and exploitation in our communities, so cutting off their international supply lines protects the public from the harm these dangerous drugs can cause.

Deffley was arrested after a search of the vehicle by Border Force officers found the canisters contained 183 kilos of the Class A drugs
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Image:

nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk)

Deffley was arrested and a National Crime Agency investigation began when he was stopped in this van at the border in Dover
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Image:

nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk)

“Working alongside our partners in Border Force, we continue to work on the frontline against drug smuggling.”

The packages contained 97 kilos of heroin and 86 kilos of cocaine, investigators confirmed.

Deffley will now be subject to a confiscation investigation under the Proceeds of Crime act to identify and seize the cash and goods obtained from his drug smuggling.

Dave Smith, Regional Director Border Force South East & Europe, added: “Drug supply chains are violent and exploitative, degrading neighbourhoods across our country.

The van contained boxes of nitrous oxide canisters for the catering industry
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Image:

nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk)

“The sentencing of Ross Deffley this week sends a clear message to anyone considering attempting to smuggle illegal drugs into the country that we remain committed and prepared in tackling drug supply chains.

“Those officers involved in this seizure can be proud of their work in stopping these dangerous drugs from entering our communities.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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