Lancashire

Prescot man jailed after 2kg cocaine found in secret van compartment

drugs in bag Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption The drugs were found inside a supermarket bag in a secret compartment of Stephen Allen's van

A man who had at least £70,000 worth of cocaine hidden in a secret compartment in his van has been jailed.

A police dog indicated there were drugs in the vehicle when Stephen Allen, 37 and of Prescot, Merseyside was stopped on the M55 near Blackpool in February.

When Lancashire Police officers were unable to find the hidden stash during a two-hour search they seized the van.

A spokesman said 2kg of cocaine was later found in a "purpose-built void" behind the passenger seat.

Enquiries were carried out to locate Allen but they could only arrest him in July at Manchester Airport.

Allen, of Warrington Road, was jailed at Preston Crown Court for six years and nine months after admitting possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

Officers believe the street value of the "high-purity" drugs would be "significantly higher" than their £70,000 estimate.

Det Supt Chris Sanderson said the "significant amount of cocaine... would undoubtedly have brought misery to the streets of Blackpool".

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