Three jailed for 30 years over Ecstasy plot
Three men who plotted to flood clubs and pubs with thousands of Ecstasy tablets have been jailed for a total of 30 years.
Jon Curtis, aged 41, Mohammed Habib, aged 30, and 22-year-old Samson Macnab were each sentenced to ten years behind bars.
Plymouth Crown Court heard they planned to make drugs worth about half a million pounds from a laboratory in a flat in Plymouth.
Curtis, Habib and Macnab and a chemist who can only be identified as T, had denied conspiracy to produce MDMA between May and July 2011.
Buy one get one free on main course and specials excludes fillet steaks and beef wellingtons
Must book to qualify 01209 860332 and present voucher on arrival
Contact: 01209 700617
Valid until: Sunday, December 15 2013
But a jury at Plymouth Crown Court last week found them guilty.
Judge Graham Cottle told them: "The ultimate objective of your scheme was to flood the clubs and pubs of Plymouth with Ecstasy tablets.
"MDMA is a drug which has cost and continues to cost lives."
The trial jury heard that the plot was hatched by Habib, a waiter at an Indian restaurant, and the chemist T.
Habib brought in Macnab, who ordered the chemicals, and doorman Curtis, who let his flat in Stoke, Plymouth, be used as the laboratory. But T fled to police, claiming he had been held prisoner in the flat and forced to make the drugs, the jury was told. No MDMA was ever made and the lab had been dismantled by the time police raided the flat.
David Taylor, for Habib, said he had a lesser role than the other defendants, whom he described as the organisers. He described him as a "run-around" who provided a link between Curtis and T.
Mr Taylor said Habib had been naive and had been planning to retake his exams and go to university before he was pressed into working at Baba's Indian restaurant at Bretonside, Plymouth.
Nick Goss, for Macnab, said he was youngest of the plotters and was only 20 when he got involved. He added he was immature but had a good job and managed to keep working as the case came to court.
Mr Goss said: "He wants to sit a degree course in custody. He wants to get qualified and put this behind him."
Allison Bailey, for Curtis, said the fact he had the laboratory in his flat showed he was at the bottom of the plot because the organisers "would not have got their hands dirty".
Curtis, now of Friars Lane, the Barbican; Macnab, of Edith Avenue, Lipson; and Habib, of Quarry Park Road in Peverell, Plymouth, and T, were found guilty by unanimous verdict. T will be sentenced at a date to be fixed at Winchester Crown Court in the next few weeks.