Cocaine plot contact jailed for six years
A man linked to a criminal network which attempted to flood Cornwall with cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines was sentenced to six years in prison yesterday.
John Patrick Kennedy, 34, of Stonleigh Pavilions, Bryan Road, Huddersfield, received consecutive three-year sentences at Truro Crown Court, in part for his role in a conspiracy involving the Cornwall network in 2010.
According to Judge John Neligan, he provided a main point of contact for part of the network of 20 people who received more than 100 years in prison after they were foiled by an extensive police operation, code named Ipanema.
The court heard how Kennedy was exposed after he was spotted loading a holdall packed with almost £100,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis in to a car driven by Andrew Smith from Falmouth, in Huddersfield in November 2010.
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Bathsheba Cassel, prosecuting, said Smith had been sent a text from an unknown contact known only as "Basher" providing him with postcode for the meeting point, but was later pulled over by police as he attempted to travel back to Cornwall.
Following his arrest on March 28, 2012, Kennedy was discovered to have 469grams of cocaine at a purity of 68% – a common level for drugs imported into the UK – with a potential street value of £20,000 when cut.
Also in his home was discovered 40kg of cutting agent caffeine, electric scales, sealable bags and a hydraulic press.
Adam Kane, for the defence, said his client had found employment since his arrest, which he said was unusual in such circumstances, an indication of his remorse at what he had done.
But, sentencing, Judge Neligan, told him he was a main point of contact for couriers supplying drugs to the South West.
He said: "The drugs were going to be distributed causing destruction and unhappiness and no-doubt ill health in some cases in the county of Cornwall."
The remaining 20 people involved in Operation Ipanema were sentenced in June.
Their sentences were the outcome of a lengthy police investigation into the activity of two gangs operating out of Falmouth and Newquay, working together on more than one occasion.
It was said at the time to be the single biggest drugs bust of its kind in Cornish history with sentences as high as 13 years for the main protagonists in the gangs.