Three members of an organised crime group who attempted to smuggle £3m worth of drugs into Dublin have been jailed in the UK for a total of 27 years and five months.
The gang was found with 30kg of cocaine, 45kg of cannabis, 15kg of MDMA and 2kg of ketamine following an investigation by the National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police's Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).
Christopher Rigg, 52, of no fixed address, Wayne Sudbury, 40, from Merseyside, and Artur Jaku-Graham, 32, of no fixed address, were jailed for 10 years and nine months, 10 years and eight months and six years respectively at Liverpool Crown Court.
All three had pleaded guilty to drugs offences at an earlier hearing.
On June 4 2018, OCP officers watched as Sudbury drove to an industrial estate about 40 minutes outside Liverpool, and met up with Rigg, who was a HGV lorry driver.
Sudbury was seen handing two large boxes to Rigg, who then drove to Holyhead Port in Anglesey.
As Rigg attempted to catch a ferry to Dublin, he was stopped by Border Force officers.
A search of the trailer uncovered the two boxes, which contained 26kg of cocaine, and Rigg was subsequently arrested on suspicion of importing controlled drugs.
Meanwhile, Sudbury stayed at the industrial estate, where he met Jaku-Graham and handed him a bag containing a further 4kg of cocaine.
After Sudbury drove off, Jaku-Graham was stopped by OCP officers. They searched his vehicle and found packages containing 4kg of cocaine.
He was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the supply of controlled drugs.
Sudbury drove back to Merseyside and was arrested at his home.
A search uncovered 45kg of cannabis, 15kg of MDMA, nearly 2kg of ketamine and 2kg of cutting agent hidden in a loft bedroom.
An unused encrypted mobile phone and £3,740 in cash were found in a cupboard beneath the stairs.
Sudbury was arrested on suspicion of supplying class A controlled drugs and possession of class A and class B drugs with intent to supply.
OCP Operations Manager, Matt McMillan, said:
"Those involved in the supply of drugs perpetuate the culture of violence and we will use all the specialist capabilities available to us to combat this threat.
"I have no doubt the public are safer now Rigg, Sudbury and Jaku-Graham are behind bars."
- Press Association