Police seizure of cocaine leads to 4 year sentence

Inside of Metropolitan Police response vehicle. Photo: Met Police

A van driver stopped by South Croydon police traffic officers and found to be in possession of 9 kilos of cocaine has been jailed for four years.

Dennis Clifford De Baeza, 44, of no fixed address, was sentenced today for possession with intent to supply a class A drug.

His transit van was checked by Metropolitan Police traffic officers on patrol in Godstone Road in the early evening of January 6 this year. They had checked the registration number and discovered it belonged to a Ford Focus.

They carried out a search when he gave a stumbling account of why it had false plates and discovered a bag in the back of the van, which contained nine wrapped packets that were later forensically examined and confirmed as high quality cocaine with an estimated street value of £2 million.

Detective Sergeant Tim Court of Croydon CID said: “This is a clear example of how robust policing of the roads will deny organised criminals safe transit of their drugs across the MPS. The drugs were of a high quality typically seen at the importation level and the polluting impact they would have had on our communities cannot be over estimated.

“The sentence reflects the severity of the crime De Baeza committed and has undoubtedly protected the public from a dangerous drug and its associated malaise of violence, dependency and misery,” he said.

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