By Lily Houston
Nearly eight million pounds worth of cannabis and £396,000 worth of zopiclone tablets of have been discovered in a raid on an industrial unit in Sittingbourne.
Kent Police officers discovered just over a ton of Marijuana when they executed a search warrant at an industrial unit on Castle Road, and arrested two men.
The two men, Thomas Cullen, 57, and Joseph Graham, 48, who were both linked to the Mersyside area were inside the property at the time of the raid and were arrested.
Both pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply cannabis and zopiclone tablets when they appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday 21 December 2016.
Cullen was jailed for eight years and Graham for six years when they returned for sentencing on Friday 20 January 2017.
The court heard how after gaining access to the premises, officers discovered multiple vacuum-packed containers with herbal cannabis inside in addition to a number of block-sized packages that had been tightly bound with brown tape. More than 4,000 boxes of zopiclone tablets were also seized from the premises, which had a potential street value of up to £396,000.
It was later established there was a total of 1.02 tonnes of cannabis stored inside the unit, with a potential street value of up to £7.7 million.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Mark Froome of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said:
“Thomas Cullen and Joseph Graham are members of an organised crime group and played an important role in what was clearly a very large drugs operation.
“We work relentlessly to dismantle such groups and to ensure illegal substances are kept off the streets of Kent and away from those members of the public who are most at risk.
“The lengthy sentences imposed on these two men demonstrates how seriously we and the courts take the issue of organised crime, and I hope it highlights to others that if you commit offences then your actions will catch up with you in the end.”
A 38-year-old man from Sittingbourne has also been arrested in connection with the case and is currently on bail until Thursday 16 March 2017.