Lowestoft - Jet ski pair sentenced for drugs importation offences
Two men from Lancashire have been sentenced to a total of 14 years and 6 months in prison today (Tuesday 16 February) after pleading guilty to importing cocaine into Suffolk from Holland via the North Sea on a jet ski in September.
During the evening of Wednesday 30 September, a multi-agency response involving Suffolk Police, HM Coastguard, the Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat and Border Force was launched after two men were located with a jet ski in the sea 27 nautical miles off the Suffolk coast.
A survey boat reported the incident just before 7pm, after two men on a single jet ski approached the vessel reporting difficulties due to a fuel shortage. The vessel issued a mayday call and a HM Coastguard helicopter and volunteers from Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat ‘Patsy Knight’ attended the scene.
The two men were winched to safety on the HM Coastguard helicopter and transported to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston. Border Force contacted officers from Suffolk Police, who searched the men on arrival and seized two packages of class A drugs with a potential street level value of between £160,000 - £200,000. The two men were arrested on suspicion of importing controlled drugs and taken to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre for questioning.
The men were charged with importing class A drugs and appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court on Friday 2 October. They appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday 30 October where they both pleaded guilty to importing cocaine and were remanded into custody.
Today (Tuesday 16 February) the two men, both of Skelmersdale in Lancashire, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court. 36-year-old Steven Brogan was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months and 34-year-old Anthony Reilly was sentenced to 7 years in prison.
Detective Inspector Matt Adams of East CID, Suffolk Constabulary says:
“These men acted recklessly and put their lives at risk by crossing the channel to Holland on a jet ski to import class A drugs into Suffolk.
This incident shows the incredibly dangerous lengths that those involved in the supply of drugs will go to in order to sustain their trade.
Our compelling evidence and the swift multi-agency response involving Suffolk Constabulary, Border Force, HM Coastguard and the RNLI has resulted in bringing this case before the court and seeing those responsible being brought to justice.
We hope that this sentence will act as a deterrent to criminals trying to bring drugs into our county.”