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Two Worcestershire men jailed for their roles in exporting drugs to Australia

Two members of an international drugs gang who exported drugs from Kidderminster and Liverpool to Tasmania in Australia, were jailed for a total of 13 years at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday, 29 March.

Jonathan Hiorns

This sentencing follows the defendants entering guilty pleas at an earlier hearing.

Damion Tucker, 31, of Victoria Street, Liverpool pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to evade the prohibition on the exportation of a controlled Class A substance, two counts of conspiracy to evade the prohibition on the exportation of a controlled Class B substance, and one count of conspiracy to transfer criminal property. He was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

Jonathan Hiorns, 33, of Warstone Lane, Birmingham pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to evade the prohibition on the exportation of a controlled Class A substance, two counts of conspiracy to evade the prohibition on the exportation of a controlled Class B substance, and one count of conspiracy to transfer criminal property. He was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

The West Mercia Police investigation follows a long running Australian Crime Commission project which focused on the activities of the Australian based organised crime group, 'Rebels Motor Cycle Gang', which identified a number of conspirators including UK-based Tucker and Hiorns.

Tucker and Hiorns made  a number of shipments of amphetamines and MDMA using small parcel mail from the UK to Australia between January and July, 2014. Each shipment contained around two kilograms of amphetamines and one with a kilogram of MDMA. The estimated street value of the drugs equated to tens of thousands of pounds.

The Australian authorities seized four of the parcels containing amphetamines and Tucker and Hiorns, originally from Worcestershire, were arrested later that year and were subsequently charged in September 2018.

The sentences come as West Mercia Police continues to tackle serious and organised crime as part of its Protect campaign.

Detective Chief Inspector Carl Moore from West Mercia Police said:  "We are committed to disrupting the supply of drugs and we welcome Friday's sentence, which should act as a warning to people involved in dealing or exporting drugs, that we are looking for you and we will take action.

"The success of this investigation relied upon close cooperation with law enforcement agencies around the United Kingdom and Australia. The convictions follow a long and complex investigation and I'd like to praise the persistence and professionalism of everyone involved. 

"The dedication and combined efforts of the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police, West Mercia Police, West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU), Merseyside Police , the National Crime Agency and the Crown Prosecution Service resulted in the disruption of this organised crime group and also saw a huge quantity of illegal drugs taken off the streets in Australia.

"We will not tolerate serious and organised crime in our communities, and we have teams actively targeting those we believe to be involved. We will relentlessly pursue them and disrupt and dismantle their criminal network to make our communities a safer place."

Colette Moore, Specialist Prosecutor for the International Justice and Organised Crime Division at the CPS said: "Our prosecution was able to prove without doubt that these two men were responsible for shipping large quantities of class A drugs from the UK across the world.

"We're delighted to have secured long sentences after a lengthy and complex investigation. We will continue to work with our global criminal justice partners to make sure those involved in the illegal drug trade are prosecuted accordingly."

West Mercia Police's Protect campaign sees police work closely with partners to tackle serious and organised crime and the harm it causes. The broad-ranging campaign comprises four key areas of activity:

Pursue - prosecuting and disrupting those involved in SOC

Prevent - stopping individuals from becoming involved in SOC

Protect - increased levels of protection against SOC

Prepare - reducing the impact of SOC where it occurs

Visit https://www.westmercia.police.uk/protect to find out more.

If you have concerns about the use or supply of drugs you can report it on 101. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 in an emergency.

Note to editors: Please note we do not have a custody image for Damion Tucker.

Posted at: 11.15am , Monday, 1 April by LK, Corporate Communications

Published 01/04/19