Two former Royal Marines have been jailed for smuggling cocaine into the UK in boxes of Lego, after one of them was accidentally given to a child for his birthday.
The kilo of cocaine inside the gift was among 18kg that Jack Jones and Isaac Rasmussen, both 28, had brought illegally into the country from the Netherlands in DPD parcels.
One had been delivered to Rasmussen’s home in Whiston, Merseyside, but he was out so it was left with a neighbour. She unsuccessfully tried to return it over several weeks, until she was asked by her son’s girlfriend for birthday present ideas for a friend’s young son, and gave her the box, which had an image of a Lego fire engine on the front.
하나, when the friend opened up the gift-wrapped present on her son’s birthday she discovered a solid white block of cocaine inside, Liverpool crown court heard.
Jones was jailed for 16-and-a-half years on Tuesday for conspiracy to import and supply drugs, and Rasmussen was sentenced to 10 연령.
A third man, Paul Jones, 43, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years after his addresses were used for the packages to be sent to.
The court was told that one of the cocaine packages was delivered to Paul Jones’s address in Huyton, Merseyside, while police were executing a warrant there on 24 유월 2020.
Charles Lander, prosecuting, said when officers opened the parcel they found eight Lego Duplo boxes, each with a kilo of high purity cocaine inside.
On the same day the package was delivered to an address where Rasmussen was a tenant, but it was taken in by a neighbour – which led to the unintentional regifting.
The court heard police investigating the case have recovered the quantities of the drug worth £1.8m but detectives believe it is only the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of the defendants’ criminality.
Judge Stuart Driver QC told Rasmussen: “You allowed your home to be used for delivery of multi-kilo packages of class A drugs.
“Part of such a delivery to your address, disguised as Lego, was inadvertently handed to a small child wrapped up as a birthday present, exposing the child to a risk of serious harm.”
Rasmussen had known Jack Jones since he joined the Royal Marines aged 17, and became involved in the plot through their friendship, Driver was told.
The court heard that Jack Jones had told a contact on messaging service EncroChat: “Bro we be multimillionaires in three months ha ha ha.”
All three men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import and supply cocaine. Paul Jones is already serving a prison sentence for cannabis production.
Jack Jones of Huyton admitted conspiracy to supply heroin, MDMA and cannabis, conspiracy to import cannabis and conspiracy to convert criminal property.
Rasmussen of Widnes also admitted conspiracy to import cannabis and Paul Jones pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis and criminal property.