Three men have been charged with drugs offences following the discovery of an industrial-scale laboratory producing amphetamine in Warwickshire.
John Keets, 40, and Keith Davis, 60, from Chalfont St Giles, and Andrew Gurney, 50, of Quinton, Birmingham were arrested on Tuesday, April 27.
The were remanded into custody at High Wycombe Magistrates Court and are next due to appear at Aylesbury Crown Court on June 1.
The arrests followed a raid carried out by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in a joint operation – called Operation Venatic – with Warwickshire Police.
The NCA believes the organised crime group that set up the lab were producing around one tonne of amphetamine per month – worth £2million at wholesale and up to £10million at street level – for distribution to criminals throughout the country. pic.twitter.com/1zlFNcHrGc
— National Crime Agency (NCA) (@NCA_UK) April 27, 2021
The NCA believes the crime group were producing around one tonne of amphetamine per month at the site on Ullenhall Lane, near Redditch.
The amphetamine was worth up to £10million a month and it was produced for distribution to criminals throughout the country.
Mr Keets and Mr Davis were charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine, ketamine and cannabis, conspiracy to import cannabis and conspiracy to use criminal property to produce amphetamine.
Mr Gurney was charged with conspiracy to supply and produce amphetamine and using criminal property for that purpose.
NCA branch commander Peter Stevens said: “This illicit drug lab was producing extremely large amounts of amphetamine for distribution to crime groups across the UK and into our communities, bringing with it violence, fear, and exploitation.
“The operation, which required a huge amount of planning to ensure it was conducted safely, will have had a huge impact on the organised crime groups involved, depriving them of commodity and profit.
“This work also shows the value and power of working with law enforcement agencies, including Warwickshire Police who have provided specialist resources, to take down high-harm criminals.”
ACC Alex Franklin Smith from Warwickshire Police said: “Such an operation taking place in such a quiet, rural location will no doubt have caused some concerns for people in the area. Our officers will be working with people in the local community in the coming days to provide reassurance.”
Picture credit NCA