A drug dealer who was stopped with cocaine worth more than £1.7 million has been jailed.
Jason Denton was pulled over by Durham Constabulary’s Specialist Crime Operations Unit in Nottinghamshire last September, as part of an operation to target drug networks.
17kg of drugs were found in a purpose-built hidden compartment within a Vauxhall Combo van.
This is believed to be the force’s largest ever drugs seizure.
Officers were assisted by police from Nottingham when the van was stopped on the A1.
Denton, of Lyne Road, Spennymoor, later pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply controlled drugs.
Appearing at Teesside Crown Court on Friday, the 37-year-old was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison.
Detective Inspector Rob Pollard, of Durham Constabulary, said: “The team worked really hard to make sure these drugs were taken out of circulation so it is very satisfying to see justice served.
“The drugs Denton was caught with were destined for towns and villages in the North East as part of a sophisticated drug-dealing network."