Two Milton Keynes men have pleaded guilty to a drug smuggling conspiracy that saw more than £40m worth of heroin and cocaine come into the country from the Netherlands.
Richard Campbell, 49, and 29-year-old Tomasz Wozniak, both of Waterside on Peartree Bridge, both played “significant roles” in the conspiracy, say police.
An investigation by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), supported by the National Crime Agency and Border Force, discovered that between November 2018 and August 2019, 39 deliveries of drugs were made to a farm in Hunsden, Hertfordshire.
Two of the deliveries were intercepted by UK and Dutch authorities and 45 kilograms of heroin and 70 kilograms of cocaine being seized.
The other 37 deliveries are believed to have contained approximately 350 kilograms of cocaine and 1,485 kilograms of heroin.
In total the organised crime group smuggled Class A drugs with an estimated wholesale value of between £40 million and £58 million into the country, in what is Hertfordshire’s biggest ever drugs conspiracy.
Campbell and Wozniak were arrested by officers from ERSOU last year, along with Hertfordshire man Robert Brooks, 50, and 56-year-old Stephen Capp from Hull.
The four men all pleaded guilty to offences in relation to the drugs importation at a hearing at St Albans Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday).
Wozniak and Capp pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine, while Campbell and Brooks pleaded guilty to conspiracy to fraudulently evade the prohibition on the importation of heroin and cocaine.
All four have been remanded in custody ahead of sentencing in March.
A fifth man, Pieter Mannessenn, 50, from Amsterdam, was arrested by Dutch authorities following the seizure of cocaine in Holland. He has since been sentenced to six years imprisonment in Holland.
Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Davidson, from ERSOU, said: “This is biggest ever drugs conspiracy Hertfordshire has seen, and the largest drugs conspiracy investigation in the history of the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit.”
He added: “We worked closely alongside Border Force, the National Crime Agency, and the police in the Netherlands on this operation, and it’s thanks to this partnership working, and the dedication of our officers, that we were able to uncover and arrest this group.
“Drug trafficking is a major source of revenue for organised crime groups, and a crime that causes real harm to communities across the country, which is why we’re committed to doing all we can and using our wide range of specialist tactics to ensure groups like this are uncovered and stopped."