Advanced Search

Prosecuting International and Organised Crime

Drug trafficking, people trafficking, use of firearms, money laundering, internet crime, fraud, serious robbery and organised vehicle crime at home and internationally, are all dealt with by the International Justice and Organised Crime Division. A specialist team of experienced prosecutors, the International Justice and Organised Crime Division work closely with the police and international law enforcement agencies to bring criminals to justice.

Find out how we refer crimes to the International Justice and Organised Crime Division

Three sentenced for major drug smuggling operation

09/02/2016

Three men have been sentenced to immediate custodial terms of 66 years for their involvement in smuggling nearly 270 kilos of cocaine into Britain in a light aircraft.

Mark Dowling, Jamie Williams and Andrew Wright were sentenced today at the Old Bailey for their involvement in importing this cocaine, as part of Operation Conning. Mark Dowling led this crime group and he was also sentenced today for money laundering and further substantial drugs offences in a separate investigation called Operation Kazak. Jamie Williams was also sentenced for drugs and firearms offences in a separate investigation called Operation Goosewing.

Adrian Flasher, reviewing lawyer in the Organised Crime Division at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Mark Dowling, Jamie Williams and Andrew Wright were part of a major drug smuggling conspiracy. This was a highly sophisticated operation involving the use of an aviation company which was a front to smuggle cocaine by plane.

"The operation was led by Mark Dowling, with Jamie Williams as his trusted lieutenant, and Andrew Wright as his pilot. When Andrew Wright was arrested in November 2014, 34 packages of cocaine weighing a kilo each were found, with an estimated street value of £4.25 million. Wright had flown the same journey eight times, with an estimated 268 kilos of cocaine having been imported.

"Extensive evidence was collated including flight records, bank accounts and observation evidence, which was reviewed and analysed by the CPS and presented in such a way as to demonstrate a compelling case, leaving these men with no option but to plead guilty. These sentences send a clear message that organised crime, no matter how sophisticated, can and will be successfully prosecuted by the CPS."

Mark Dowling was sentenced to 24 years for conspiracy to import cocaine. Jamie Williams was sentenced to 18 years for conspiracy to import cocaine and a further five years for firearms offences, to be served consecutively. Both Dowling and Williams were also sentenced for a number of other serious offences with the sentences to run concurrently. Andrew Wright was sentenced to 19 years for conspiracy to import cocaine.

Additional information:

The drugs had street value of around £34 million.

Op Conning:

Mark Dowling, Jamie Williams and Andrew Wright were sentenced for the importation of cocaine. This involved a light aircraft flying from Keissel in Germany to Breighton Airfield near Selby in East Yorkshire.

Evidence shows before the flights back from Germany, Jamie Williams travelled to mainland Europe. He picked up the drugs (thought to have been in the Netherlands), and drove them to Germany and loaded the plane. He then returned to the UK and drove to Selby to pick the drugs up from Andrew Wright, before driving to Essex to take the drugs to Mark Dowling, who was in charge of the operation.

Op Kazak:

Mark Dowling was sentenced for money laundering offences and drug offences involving cannabis and cocaine.

Op Goosewing:

As well as his involvement in Op Conning, Jamie Williams was sentenced for drugs and firearms offences in a separate Operation.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  4. At 31 March 2015 we employed a workforce of approximately 5,895 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2,255 prosecutors and 3,288 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website: www.cps.gov.uk.
  5. The CPS, together with police representatives (formerly ACPO) and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.