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 Jail for man caught bringing £800,000 worth of cocaine into County Durham


​A man who was found with more than 10kg of cocaine worth around £800,000 hidden in a secret compartment in his van has been jailed.

Francis Cain, from Liverpool, was stopped by police driving his van on the A1m near Bowburn, in Durham, on September 23 when officers discovered ten packages of cocaine hidden in a secret compartment behind the driver’s area.

When forensically analysed, the cocaine was found to have a purity of 81 per cent, with a street value of around £800,000.

The 45-year-old, of Netherley, was arrested at the scene and his van was seized.

He pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply and was jailed for 12 years at Durham Crown Court last week. He was also given a two year driving ban.

The conviction follows an investigation by the Joint Border Disruption Team, which is made up of officers from the National Crime Agency and the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit as part of Operation Sentinel – a campaign to tackle serious and organised crime across the region.

A Durham Constabulary spokeswoman said: “As this case shows, we will not tolerate people bringing potentially deadly drugs into County Durham and Darlington.

“Thanks to the officers working to disrupt organised crime in the region, this significant amount of drugs haven’t made their way onto the streets.

“If we have intelligence that people are dealing drugs in our area, or plan to bring drugs into our area, we will take action to bring them to justice.”

Anyone with any information on any illegal drug activity in their area should contact Durham Constabulary on 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.