UK's largest drugs inquiry leads to seven more sentences

Seven more people have been sentenced for their part in what is thought to be one of the largest drugs operations carried out in the UK.

A four-year Met Police drugs investigation has led to 18 people being convicted.

Chinese, Vietnamese and British nationals were found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate the production of cannabis.

Operation Opaque began in 2008 and targeted drugs importers and growers.

Industrial quantities

Specialist equipment was imported through different companies set up by the defendants from countries including China and Holland, said a police spokesman.

The majority of the defendants were drivers, cultivators or wholesalers, and most of the equipment seized from the warehouses and business premises was suitable for producing cannabis in industrial quantities.

Once imported, the equipment was delivered to a number of warehouses for distribution or direct to individual cannabis farms around the UK.

Those who have been sentenced at the Old Bailey are:

  • Freddie Ross Johnson, 57, of Orchard Street, Fleckney, Leicester who received nine years in prison;
  • Thoung Tu, 54, of Nevill Road, Hackney was sentenced to four years;
  • Gary Stephen Hadley, 40, of Gavestone Road, Greenwich received a suspended sentence of two years;
  • Shaun Byrne, 50, of Cator Close, New Addington, Croydon was jailed for 30 months;
  • Thanh Than Nnguyen, 54, of Hoe Street, London was sentenced to six years;
  • Ngat Thi Le, aka Jessica, 27, and Huang Van Le, 54, of Barnfield Road, London were sentenced to two-and-a-half years and four years respectively.

The last person to be sentenced, Jamie Covington, 28, of Westcombe Hill, Blackheath, will appear in court on 1 March.

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