South Norwood man among £25m cocaine gang jailed for 54 years
10:48am Monday 4th February 2013 in News
A man who drove around London with half a million pounds worth of cocaine in a sports bags, was among four men jailed for a total of 54 years.
Christopher Lock, of Michael Road in South Norwood, was jailed for eight years on Friday for conspiracy to supply cocaine.
The 48-year-old was also sentenced to four years for money laundering, to run concurrently.
Kingston Crown Court heard Mr Lock was arrested alongside Steven Hewson of Madeira Road, Streatham, David Reidy, of Talfourd Road, Peckham, and Mark Hanson of Rectory Road, Shoreham by Sea, in a police operation on November 1, 2011.
The group had been tracked by officers from the Met's Central Task Force, who uncovered the gang's plot to supply 100kg of cocaine with a street value of £25m.
The court heard officers watched Lock hand over a large holdall of cash to Hewson in Clapham, during a suspicious exchange between two vans.
Later that day, Lock was seen to meet Hanson who supplied him with a large bag containing 5kg of cocaine.
Hewson's silver van was registered to a workshop in Clapham, which repairs motorbikes and scooters. The workshop was raided and during the search of the premises Hewson was spotted entering the workshop and arrested.
Following his arrest Hewson's van was put under police observation and led officers to Reidy. After Reidy's arrest the van was searched and a blue gym bag containing approximately £500,000 was found.
The court heard searches of the four men's homes uncovered large quantities of cash and a search of Hanson's second address in Tooting found 80 to 90 packages, each approximately 1kg of cocaine worth more than £25m.
Like Lock, Hanson pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine and money laundering , but Hewson and Reidy were found guilty after a six week trial at Kingston Crown Court.
Hanson, 43, Lock, 48 and Reidy, 42, were sentenced to nine years, eight years and 23 years respectively for conspiracy.
Hanson and Lock were also sentenced to four years each and Reidy, six years for money laundering to run concurrently.