Drug dealing taxi driver jailed - London

18/06/2013

A London taxi driver who transported foreign nationals that were trafficking cocaine was jailed for six years on Monday, 17 June 2013, following an operation run by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

John Mansfield, 27, of Lofting Road, Islington, was jailed after being found guilty last week of conspiracy to supply cocaine following a six day trial at Harrow Crown Court.  Six other offenders were jailed in March in relation to this operation.

The initiative, known as Operation Herald, was led by ERSOU  - a regional crime squad, which became operational in July 2010 in order to tackle serious and organized crime across six force areas.

Mansfield first came to notice when two Dutch nationals were stopped and arrested by Sussex police in a London cab travelling towards Kent on 09 February 2012.  In a holdall officers found 4.98 kilos of cocaine, which was rated 63 per cent in purity.  Mansfield, who was the driver of the cab, was arrested and bailed.

Information soon emerged that in June 2012, the gang were planning a further shipment of 38 kilos of amphetamine. Following an ERSOU operation at a service station in Beaconsfield, six people were arrested and the drugs were seized.

Following the arrests at the service station further evidence was obtained against Mansfield and he was re-arrested in October 2012, and charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

In total, Operation Herald led to the recovery 43 kilos of controlled drugs and the seizure of over £70,000 in cash.

ERSOU was formed to increase and improve operational capacity and capability in dealing with cross-border criminals and is resourced by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex,  Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk police forces. ERSOU is committed to serving residents across the region and carries out proactive operations to tackle cross-border organized crime. To learn more about the work carried out by ERSOU visit www.ersourocu.org.uk

Details of the other six offenders who were jailed in March are as follows:

  • Sean Davie of Eaton Mews, Greenfield,  Bedfordshire, was jailed for 14 years after pleading guilty to three offences of conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to import amphetamine and money laundering.
  • Reuldmiri Gonzales, 31 from Holland, was sentenced to six and a half years after pleading guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply.
  • Joe Watson, 28,  from Loughton in Essex, was sentenced to seven and a half years after pleading guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine, conspiracy to import amphetamine and illegal money transfer.
  •  Paul O'Brien, 46, of Ramsden Heath, Billericay, Essex, was jailed for four years eight months after admitting conspiracy to import amphetamine and conspiracy to transfer criminal property.
  • Joseph Cox, 39,  from Liverpool and Christian Stevenson, 38, from Denton, Manchester, were both sentenced to 20 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply amphetamine and transferring criminal property.