Humberside

Florist Gary Pattison jailed for smuggling cocaine

Blocks of cocaine
Image caption The court heard the cocaine was concealed in boxes of flowers

A florist who tried to smuggle drugs worth £23.5m into the UK in boxes of flowers has been jailed for 18 years.

Gary Pattison, 52, from Woodmansey, East Yorkshire, was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court of importing cocaine.

The court heard he tried to smuggle 84kg of the drug, which was 97% pure, into Hull from the Netherlands.

He was caught by border officers after returning from Rotterdam in February.

The lorry contained 89 boxes of flowers, but three looked different, and when X-rayed officers found they contained kilo blocks of cocaine.

Gerry Smyth, regional head of investigations for the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), said: "Pattison acted as a shipping agent for organised crime groups by arranging for a large quantity of high purity cocaine to be smuggled into the country."

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