Two men attempted to smuggle $341,875 worth of cocaine in baked beans and cans of condensed coconut milk. They were sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Daniel Kelly and Steven Gilhooly, both 43, sent two parcels described as ‘containing canned goods’, from St Lucia, a Caribbean island, to southeast London in December 2018, according to a London Metropolitan Police Press release.
An investigation by London Police and the UK’s National Crime Agency led to an inspection of the package and authorities found it contained 2.742kg of cocaine. To conceal the drugs, the men bought a can-sealing machine and lids, police said.
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When the pair flew from London to St Lucia in 2018, they told officials they were going on vacation. Officials recorded that the men had a box sealer in their luggage. In Saint Lucia, Kelly mailed the 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 prison for a different offence. Gilhooly was arrested on March 9. They were both charged with fraud and drug importation – the specific charge of “being involved in the fraudulent circumvention of a ban on the import of a Class A drug”.
Kelly on January 12 was sentenced to 6½ years in prison; Gilhooly was sentenced to 8½ years.
“This should send a clear and strong message to those intending to cross our borders that breaches of this nature are taken very seriously and we will spare no effort to bring them to justice,” the Inspector- Detective Matthew Webb, of the Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime. teams, said in a statement.
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