Seven people have been sentenced to a total of nearly 74 years behind bars for their involvement in an audacious drug smuggling operation.
Their attempt to bring in nearly £1m of cocaine, MDMA powder, ecstasy tablets and cannabis was foiled by the most complex drugs investigation ever undertaken by Jersey Police and Customs officers.
Nicholas Maxwell Thurban (61), Colin Russel Sait (45), Paul Dennis Brown (59), John Alexander Roy (55) and Jon Adam Hughes (41) all received prison sentences of between 12 and 14 years, while Daniel Niall Riley (26) received a sentence of eight years and two months, and Deborah Karen Wolff (54), was jailed for two years.
The investigation, known as Operation Lion, lasted almost 18 months with law enforcement agencies working alongside colleagues from the National Crime Agency, UK Border Force and Australian Police.
Pictured: The boat used to import the drugs.
The operation uncovered direct correlation between the Jersey conspirators and other illegal drugs operations worldwide and involved the largest data communications trawl ever completed by local authorities.
The case involved examination of data from 136 mobile phones that produced 55,000 lines of data from 26,000 telephone calls and text messages. Over 100 physical exhibits were also seized and examined by officers.
The operation culminated in the seizure of drugs worth approximately £919,000 on the street, after they were imported by boat on 21 June 2019.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Beechey said: “The joint investigation with our Jersey Customs and immigration Service colleagues formed part of a much bigger worldwide picture, requiring excellent international collaboration.
“Today’s sentences and the associated seizures will have had a major impact on illegal drug importation into our Island. We know how easily controlled drugs can destroy families and communities and we will continue to work tirelessly to see this type of offender and this type of criminality brought to justice.”
JCIS Senior Manager Andrew Hunt said: “I’d like thank all those involved in this lengthy and complex investigation for the part they played in bringing the case to a successful conclusion which drew together the very best ingredients of joint working and collaboration at a local, national and international level.
"The sentences handed down by the Royal Court reflect the serious nature of organised crime that was committed by this group over a long period of time, targeting Jersey for their own financial gain.”
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Pictured top - clockwise, from top left: Daniel Niall Riley, Nicholas Maxwell Thurban, Jon Adam Hughes, Paul Dennis Brown, Colin Russel Sait, and John Alexander Roy. Not pictured: Deborah Karen Wolff.
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