Richard Jory QC, leading Lesley Bates of 23 Essex Street, prosecuted UKBF officer Simon Pellett and two others who had been involved in the importation of £3.4m worth of heroin and cocaine and numerous firearms. On 6th October 2017, in a joint operation between the National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Service in the UK, and the special anti-corruption branch of the French national police, Pellett was arrested with 3 holdalls containing 6kg of Heroin, 28 kg of cocaine, ten fully operational firearms, three silencers, ammunition and a magazine for a Skorpion sub-machine gun. Co-defendants David Baker and Alex Howard had driven from the UK to Belgium to arrange collection of the holdalls from the original source before driving to a predetermined meeting point near Dunkirk in France to deliver the bags to Pellett. As a UKBF Officer Pellett was able to avoid all border control checks on re-entry to the UK, allowing him to drive unhindered back to the UK for onward distribution of the items. All three were arrested by French police before contesting extradition proceedings earlier this year.
Pellett, Baker and Howard were convicted following a five week trial at Isleworth Crown Court. Pellet was sentenced to a total of 23 years for the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the importation of cocaine [Count 1], heroin [Count 2] and firearms [Count 3] and misconduct in public office [Count 4]; Baker to 20 years on the 3 Counts of fraudulent evasion, and Howard to 10 years for fraudulent evasion of the drugs.
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