Ninth charge over £12m Chelmsford cocaine haul

Drugs seized by police
Image caption The drugs were seized in a van in Chelmsford in April

A ninth person has been charged after police seized cocaine with an estimated street value of £12m.

The 80kg of cocaine was found in a van which was stopped in Chelmsford, Essex, on 6 April.

The haul is the biggest uncovered by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit since it was set up in 2008.

Stephen Crane, 55, of Lutterworth, Leicestershire, has been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs and is due before Halton magistrates later.

Seven men and a woman from Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire have already been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Two were arrested at the scene and the others were arrested after raids in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire.

They are all due to appear at Warrington Crown Court on 29 April for a preliminary hearing.

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