Two men tried to smuggle cocaine worth $ 341,875 into baked beans and condensed coconut milk cans. They were sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Daniel Kelly and Steven Gilhooly, both 43, sent two packages described as “containing preserves” from St. Lucia, an island in the Caribbean, to south-east London in December 2018, according to a press release from the London Metropolitan Police.
An investigation by London police and the UK National Crime Agency led to an inspection of the package and authorities realized it contained 2,742kg of cocaine. To hide the drugs, the men bought a can closing machine and a lid, police say.
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As both men flew from London to St. Lucia in 2018, they told officials they were going on vacation. Officials recorded the men had a can sealer in their luggage. In St. Lucia posted the Kelly cans filled with cocaine and used a fake driver’s license as identification.
On January 23, 2020, police charged Kelly, who was serving time in jail for another offense. Gilhooly was arrested on March 9. They were both charged with fraud and importation of substances – the specific charge of “being concerned about the fraudulent evasion of a ban on the import of a Class A substance.”
Kelly was sentenced on January 12 to 6 years in prison; Gilhooly was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
“This should send a clear and strong message to those who intend to penetrate our borders that offenses of this kind are taken very seriously, and we will not leave the stone unturned in bringing them to justice,” Detective Inspector Matthew Webb, from the Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime team, said in a statement.
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