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  1. ITV Report

Five men found guilty of attempting to import drugs off the coast of Cornwall

Dean Waters, from Bristol, one of five men convicted of attempting to import cocaine Credit: Picture from NCA

The Bristol-based leader of a drug ring has been found guilty of trying to smuggle cocaine with a street value of £110 million pounds into the UK.

Dean Waters was found guilty of conspiracy to import cocaine with four other men at Bristol Crown Court. The drugs were found hidden on a catamaran off the coast of Cornwall.

Top row: Nigel Clark and Dean Waters Credit: Picture from NCA

The National Crime Agency were tipped off about the haul on the catamaran last summer and kept the five men under surveillance.

They intercepted the boat, called Nomad, as it sailed into the UK from Venezuela. They then uncovered over 1.4 tonnes of cocaine blocks hidden in the vessel.

The 'Nomad' used to move the haul from Venezuela to Cornwall Credit: Picture from NCA

Three European sailors were caught on board with the drugs - which have an estimated street value of £112million - but the ringleaders were found to be Nigel Clark, and Dean Waters, who is from Bristol.

After their arrest, cars belonging to Clark and Waters were searched and police found encrypted mobile phones, a large amount of cash, a thermal camera and GPS device, along with a registration document for the SY Nomad in Clark's name.

Over a week after the jury began their deliberations, today (Thursday, March 21st) all five defendants were found guilty of trying to import the multi million pound haul of cocaine into the UK.

A section of the 1.4 tonnes of cocaine recovered from the yacht Credit: Picture from NCA

Senior Investigating officer Ty Surgeon, of the National Crime Agency, praised the team who brought the gang to justice.

This is another fantastic example of law enforcement and partner agencies working together, sharing intelligence and conducting operational activity to stop the importation of a huge amount of cocaine into the UK.

The main instigators Clark and Waters - both of whom have previous convictions for drug trafficking offences – knew exactly what they were doing and had planned every part of the drug smuggling attempt.

This case should act as a deterrence to anyone who thinks they can import or smuggle drugs into the UK.

– Ty Surgeon, NCA Senior Investigating Officer