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BEHIND BARS: Bushey man jailed for 14 years for involvement in drug supply (VIDEO)

 Published on: 9th May 2022   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A 50-year-old man from Bushey has been jailed for 14 years and five months for his involvement in drug supply.

Ian Harris , 50, was told by Judge Philip Grey that he was “steeped in the world of Class A drug supply.”

St Albans crown court heard Harris played a leading role in the conspiracy along with Phillip Blackburn from Hemel Hempstead, who was jailed for 10 years and two months at an earlier hearing.

Harris was the latest member of the conspiracy to be jailed, bringing the number sentenced so far to 19 with the total jail term being more than 156 years.

Prosecutor Simon Wilshire said the extent of Harris’ involvement was revealed after the cracking of the EncroChat network, a secure messaging system used by criminals.

He said the prosecution case was that Harris was involved in dealing with 20 kilos of cocaine.

Harris was stopped in April 2020 while driving a VW Golf near Welwyn Garden City. £50,000 cash was found hidden in the dashboard. A press and 13 and a half kilos of cutting agent was also recovered.

Mr Wilshire went on: “Mr Harris had an Encrochat phone in his car. Messages recovered were from March 26 to April 24, 2020. He had the phone in his possession since October 2019.”

He said it showed Harris got multiple kilos of cocaine distributed it to others and let some. He would also act as a broker middle man and in addition would sell his knowledge on how to adulterate cocaine.

Harris of Pentland Road, Bushey appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine. He admitted the charges 19 days before his trial was due to start. He had 22 convictions for 48 offences, including one for drug supply.

Defending, Benjamin Waidhofer said Harris was “not the driving force” concerning the establishment of the conspiracy, saying he had not been involved for the first three months. He said his skill was how to use a cutting agent.

Mr Waidhofer said Harris was involved in no more than 17 kilos of cocaine.

He said he had been remanded in custody through the worst of the covid pandemic and had been in February this year in the showers at Peterborough jail.

Jailing him Judge Grey said he had been dealing in wholesale quantities of cocaine.

He told him: “You have been to prison before for dealing in Class A drugs

“Drug dealing wrecks lives. The courts see week in week out the damage they cause.

“You are steeped in the world of Class A drugs supply.”

A Proceeds of Crime Hearing is to be held at a later date. The case will next be before the court on September 9, 2022.

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