Awsworth man who was part of gang is sent to prison

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An Awsworth man who was part of a drugs gang has been jailed for 12 years.

Adam Vhora 32, of Stamford Street, was part of a six-strong gang importing drugs and counterfeit cigarettes into the UK.

Vhora was sentenced alongside two other men from Nottinghamshire to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of one count of importation of cocaine. He also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to import amphetamine sulphate and was sentenced to six years to run concurrently.

Kevin Machin, 37, from Aspley, was sentenced to 20 months after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to import amphetamine sulphate.

Ian Oldham, 37, from Arnold, was sentenced to three years after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to import amphetamine sulphate.

The convictions follow an investigation by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU).

They were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday July 3 along with three other men.

Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Mark Chapman, from SEROCU, said: “This was an intelligence led investigation into the importation of controlled drugs, class A and class B, as well as counterfeit cigarettes from the continent.

“This gang operated throughout the UK and was arrested attempting to smuggle cocaine with the street value of around £780,000 which would have been destined for the streets of South East of England.

“They also attempted to avoid duty of around £844,000 by smuggling in over 20,000 sleeves of cigarettes destined for the North West of England.

“Throughout the investigation, we worked closely with HMRC, the UK Border Force and the National Crime Agency.”

All the offences took place between October 2011 and April 2013.

Percy Draper Smith, aged 38, from Staines, was sentenced to 10 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to import amphetamine sulphate and was sentenced to six years and six months to run concurrently.

Thomas Willett, aged 43, of Nottingham Road, Sedgebrook, Grantham, was sentenced to four years and two months and Nathan Lee, aged 55, from Eastchurch, Kent, was sentenced to two years and four months. Both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to evade the duty chargeable on excise goods.