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Lorry driver jailed over £3.8m drugs smuggling operation

An Essex lorry driver has been jailed for 12 years for smuggling around £3.8 million-worth of heroin, cocaine and ecstasy into the country via Dover.

Charlie Tomlinson, 31, of Melbourne Avenue, Chelmsford was arrested in Kent by UK Border Agency officers who scanned his vehicle.

They searched the lorry and trailer on August 2 last year and found drugs hidden in the space between the inner and outer roof of the trailer, a Border Force spokeswoman said.

Tomlinson was found guilty of smuggling class A drugs into the UK, following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.

The Border Force spokeswoman said Tomlinson smuggled an estimate 23kg of heroin, valued at £2.1 million, 10kg of cocaine, valued at £1.7 million, and 23,000 ecstasy tablets worth £71,000.

This was sophisticated drugs concealment and shows the lengths criminals will go to in attempting to evade the UK's border controls. The sentence handed down today should act as a warning to those who attempt to smuggle illegal drugs into this country.

– Malcolm Bragg, Border Force