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Cucumber drug dealer jailed for eight years
A BUSINESSMAN was jailed for eight years for being involved in a conspiracy to supply and distribute drugs with a street value of £11million.
Frederick Burnham, 52, of Bromfords Drive, Wickford was found guilty of supplying a controlled Class B drug after a trial.
Basildon Crown Court heard he was part of a gang that used his Commercial Convoys site in Baker Street, Orsett, to process 1.46 tonnes of cannabis on June 27 last year.
Burnham was being re-tried after the jury failed to reach a verdict in an earlier case in which seven other gang members were found guilty.
The gang were caught during an undercover operation by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency which found cannabis hidden in pallets of cucumbers in the back of a lorry being driven in from Spain.
They planned to process nearly 1.5 tonnes of cannabis at the Commercial Convoys industrial yard.
When passing sentence, Judge Alan Saggerson said: “You helped to make it an easy provision for the gang. It was all very sophisticated with careful planning over a long period of time. You were obviously involved and will go to prison for eight years.”
After passing the sentence Judge Saggerson told him he would not be lenient and reduce his sentence because the defendant maintained his innocence throughout the trial.
Tim Probert-Wood, prosecuting, said: “Mr Burnham thought it was easy money and must have said to himself let me take the risk. He is a callous shrewd operator.”
The other gang members were Robert Holden, 29, of Sydervelt Road, Canvey – a 7ft tall, 30st man who is said to be the gang’s “muscle” – and his father Gary Holden, 52, of Ibscott Close, Dagenham, who were both previously found guilty of one count of conspiracy to supply the Class B drug.
Gary Burns, 36, from High Roding, Stephen Ely, 24, from Southall, Middlesex, and Lee Mortimer, 26, of Tennyson Road, west London, were all found guilty of possession of a Class B dug with intent to supply.
David Freeman, 54, of Knightsway, Brentwood, was found guilty of attempting to possess a Class B drug with intent to supply. Paul Gurr, 43, of Allen Road, Rainham, and John Chakley, 52, of Ashes Road, Ingatestone, admitted conspiracy to supply cannabis at an earlier hearing.
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