Revealed: Drugs trafficker Stephen Potter part of £2m cannabis plot

St Helens Star: Stephen Potter Stephen Potter

THIS is the face of a St Helens drugs trafficker who has been sentenced to six years in prison for his part in a plot to smuggle £2million of cannabis into the UK via a cover load of Spanish onions.

Stephen Potter, 41, of Paisley Avenue, Blackbrook, pleaded guilty along with three other men to conspiring to bring cannabis into the country.

Investigators describe the plot as drug trafficking “on an almost industrial scale” and that Potter and his accomplices were a “key men” in a criminal network.

Co-defendants Andrew Soloman, 46, of New Beech Road, Stockport; Paul Farrell, 33, of Clinton Avenue, Fallowfield and Gary Wilkinson, 50, of Brook Drive, Leigh admitted the charge.

Soloman and Wilkinson were arrested following a raid on their industrial unit in Openshaw, Manchester in October 2012.

They had just taken delivery of around 374 kilos of cannabis skunk and resin which had been delivered by lorry, concealed in a cover load of Spanish onions.

Potter was arrested in connection with the smuggle on the same day at an address in St Helens, while officers arrested Farrell in a bar in the Trafford Centre the following month.

At a hearing at Manchester Crown Court last month and Potter was jailed for six years and Soloman, who also admitted a charge of being involved in supplying heroin, received a nine year jail term.

At a subsequent hearing this week Wilkinson and Farrell were handed prison terms of six years and five years and six months respectively.

National Crime Agency regional head of investigations Steve Baldwin said: “This was drug trafficking on an almost industrial scale.

“These men were key players in a criminal organisation that had the ability to transport huge amounts of cannabis across international borders.

“They were motivated by the chance to make huge profits.

“Thanks to the hard work of our investigators they are now behind bars.”

Comments (6)

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6:14pm Tue 17 Dec 13

CVF420 says...

Cannabis is safer to consume for adults than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco. Yet every year tens of millions of pounds are spent by our police and court systems trying to imprison people because of it. Our government should implement a policy of legal regulation in regards to cannabis. That way, the black market would be hugely undercut, leading to a massive reduction in their profits. Our courts and police would also be better able to focus on real crime, such as murder and assault cases.

Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF)
CVF Media Team
facebook.com/cvf420
Cannabis is safer to consume for adults than alcohol, and much safer to consume than tobacco. Yet every year tens of millions of pounds are spent by our police and court systems trying to imprison people because of it. Our government should implement a policy of legal regulation in regards to cannabis. That way, the black market would be hugely undercut, leading to a massive reduction in their profits. Our courts and police would also be better able to focus on real crime, such as murder and assault cases. Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF) CVF Media Team facebook.com/cvf420 CVF420

9:46pm Tue 17 Dec 13

barrie timpson says...

Maybe , but people could obey the law in the meantime.
Maybe , but people could obey the law in the meantime. barrie timpson

8:39am Wed 18 Dec 13

Keva68 says...

Whatever the facts say obey the law like the rest of us.
Whatever the facts say obey the law like the rest of us. Keva68

4:45pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Dr Martin says...

Trying regulate cannabis will not work anyway

Stoners are not exempt from the law

I
Trying regulate cannabis will not work anyway Stoners are not exempt from the law I Dr Martin

5:58pm Wed 18 Dec 13

barrie timpson says...

If it was legalised , the black market would still thrive.
Regulating it wouldn't satisfy everybody. What happens when you can't afford to buy it from a shop? No "tick" there.
Not to mention these serial job avoiding people would just find another easy money scam.
If it was legalised , the black market would still thrive. Regulating it wouldn't satisfy everybody. What happens when you can't afford to buy it from a shop? No "tick" there. Not to mention these serial job avoiding people would just find another easy money scam. barrie timpson

4:46pm Thu 19 Dec 13

moonman77 says...

Who gives a **** about what's better for you. Simple the scum broke the law and is now locked away. Pity he dint divert his efforts into a job that benefits society.
Who gives a **** about what's better for you. Simple the scum broke the law and is now locked away. Pity he dint divert his efforts into a job that benefits society. moonman77

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