A man has been jailed over a £1 million cocaine exchange in a Kent car park.
Vilmantus Jocius was being watched police officers when he handed over the canister to another man in Thomsett Way in Queenborough. It had been covered in a bath towel.
The man who took the canister then drove off in a Mercedes Sprinter van but was stopped at a nearby petrol station by a police patrol.
The gas canister was inspected using an X-ray, which showed a number of items hidden inside.
After X-rays showed items hidden inside, officers used equipment to break the canister open
When officers dismantled it, they found 13 one kilogram blocks of cocaine with an estimated street value of £1.3million.
The man who collected the canister was arrested. Vilmantus Jocius was detained close to the Dartford Crossing nine days later.
The 33-year-old from Corby in Northamptonshire denied possessing cocaine with intent to supply but was found guilty following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
He was sentenced to nine years in prison, and also disqualified from driving.
Detective Constable Rebecca Veares, Kent Police’s investigating officer the for the case, said: “Jocius was clearly involved in a highly organised and very sophisticated plot to supply huge amounts of cocaine.”
“The vigilance of our officers stopped a substantial amount of the drug making its way onto our streets and has deprived organised criminals of a considerable sum of money.”
The driver of the Mercedes Sprinter van was later found not guilty of any offences by the jury.