Man jailed for setting up frozen chicken drug smuggling venture
A man has been handed a 12 and a half year jail term for playing a role in a plot to import 90 kilos of MDMA hidden in a consignment of out-of-date chicken.
National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators were alerted on 5 December last year after Border Force officers at Killingholme port in North Lincolnshire discovered the drugs, alongside a kilo of class B drug methoxetamine, amongst pallets of frozen chicken that had arrived from the Netherlands.
The lorry driver was arrested and the load was due to be delivered to a company called CBS Transport in Batley.
Later that evening, NCA officers arrested the owner of CBS, Christopher Byron Still, 68, of Glen Grove, Morley, at his home address. Around £13,000 cash was also seized from his car boot.
Investigators executed search warrants at his business premises and found another 10 pallets of frozen chicken and around 15 kilos of amphetamine, a class B drug, from a separate location in Holbeck.
Potential £6.5 million street value
The likely combined potential street value of the MDMA and amphetamine was estimated to be approximately £6.5 million.
The chicken, which had a ‘use by’ date of 2010, was impounded and destroyed.
At a hearing at Leeds Crown Court on 2 June, Still pleaded guilty to conspiring to import class A drugs, importing class B drugs and possession with intent to supply class B drugs. He was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison.
National Crime Agency branch commander David Norris said: “Christopher Still used the frozen chicken as a cover to import substantial amounts of illegal drugs. Our investigations have shown that the same two loads of chicken appear to have made several journeys to and from the Netherlands.
“It is likely that they also involved drug shipments.”