Search

Hornchurch car dealer found with cocaine worth millions

18:00 10 March 2012

Dosti transported 10.2kg of cannabis in his car.

Dosti transported 10.2kg of cannabis in his car.

Archant

»A second-hand car dealer who used his Hornchurch business as a front for major drug deals has been jailed for 10 years.

Ben Rowley, 32, was caught with more than £4million worth of high purety cocaine at Frankie’s Car Sales in Upper Rainham Road.

The drugs were found along with a stun gun disguised as a mobile phone and four .32 calibre bullets when police raided the business on December 2 last year, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Following a surveillance operation, detectives watched Rowley arrive at the site in a Saab.

He went into his office and emerged a few minutes later to talk to a man in a Toyota on the forecourt.

Officers moved in to arrest him. They asked for the keys to his car but he threw them into some bushes where police dogs found them.

Officers recovered the keys and found five packets of white powder inside the Saab. It turned out to be just over five kilos of cocaine at between 87 and 93 per cent purity. Another 1.2kg of coke had been kept in a safe on the site.

Rowley also kept a set of digital scales in his office along with an industrial press used to mould drugs into one kilo packages.

Police calculated the street value of the drugs as being between £1million and £4.4million, depending on how pure they were when sold.

Rowley, of previous good character and who has a six-year-old daughter, gave no comment in his police interview but later admitted drugs and firearm charges.

‘Leading role’

Passing sentence, Judge Tudor Owen said: “You had a leading role in this conspiracy and, given its very high purity, the cocaine could not have been in the country for very long.”

Rowley, of Grays, admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs, being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, possession a concealed firerm and possessing ammunition without a firearms certificate.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:33

As fireworks light up the skies above Havering, firefighters have walked out in a strike that has been described as putting “people’s lives at risk”.

Yesterday, 17:45
Enjoy firework displays being held across the borough.

Get into the bonfire spirit with firework nights across the borough.

Yesterday, 17:37

A 28-year-old woman spent five hours trapped in her bathroom after the door’s lock failed to open.

Yesterday, 14:23
The Queen's Theatre has launched a video asking people to support the venue in saying no to cuts being made to their funding.

Queen’s Theatre has released a video plea to its supporters to help it make Havering Council reconsider a proposed funding cut of £200,000.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

“Space is hard and today was a tough day.”

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition