A south Essex drug dealer who tried to smuggle cocaine into Iceland inside himself has been jailed after already making over £2.7 million from his UK operation.

Bradley Pryer, 24, and fellow crook Cain Adams, 23, were caught by a sniffer dog with more than £6,000 of cocaine hidden inside themselves.

The pair were arrested at Stansted Airport last April, before they boarded a flight to Reykjavik.

They were sniffed out by a drugs dog and found to be carrying cocaine - which they had hidden in their own bodies.

The cocaine described as "high purity" had a combined estimated UK street value of £6,300, but would have been worth around three times that in Iceland.

Messages from Pryer indicated an intention to send similar quantities of cocaine a week to Iceland by using similar drug mules.

Pryer was targeted by he Organised Crime Partnership (OCP) as part of Operation Venetic, a joint venture by Scotland Yard and Britain's version of the FBI - the NCA.

Under the handle ‘Maidenbonsai’, Pryer was regularly in contact with Robert Smith, another Essex-based criminal who is facing prison time after pleading guilty to drugs supply offences.

Operation Venetic was the police's response to the takedown of EncroChat - an encrypted communication service where drug dealers conducted their business.

OCP investigators discovered that Pryer supplied multi-kilo quantities of cocaine between March and May 2020 using the platform.

He also supplied heroin, ketamine, MDMA, amphetamine, cannabis and prescription drugs such as oxycodone and diazepam to various areas of Essex, London and Portsmouth.

The EncroChat messages showed the total value of the drugs he supplied came to around £2.7 million.

Adams, of Grays, and Pryer, from Stanford-Le-Hope, were both charged with trying to export cocaine.

Pryer was also charged with two counts of supplying class A drugs and three counts of supplying class B drugs.

At Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday (Fri), Pryer was jailed for 12 years and Adams was handed a two-year sentence in prison, suspended for two years.

Both had pleaded guilty at the same court in October.

Andrew Tickner, from the Organised Crime Partnership, said after the sentencing: “Bradley Pryer organised the sale of considerable amounts of class A drugs, and had substantial criminal connections.

“He and Cain Adams were even prepared to risk their own lives by attempting to smuggle cocaine out of the UK in the hope of generating greater profit in Iceland.

“We will continue to do all we can to break the organised crime groups supplying class A drugs, which is linked to violence and intimidation throughout the UK.”