Thirteen years for Benzocaine importer

03/02/2012

A man who supplied a cutting agent to six cocaine factories in Luton and Huntingdon was jailed for 13 years on Wednesday, 01 February 2012.

Mark Watling, 39, imported six barrels of Benzocaine, weighing a total of 150 kilos, from China.

Luton Crown Court heard that the street value of cocaine diluted by that amount of the anaesthetic would be between £9 million and £13 and a half million.

Watling had set up a business called Buffalo Global to import the chemical, saying it was to be sold on to legitimate businesses such as tattoo parlours that used Benzocaine to numb the pain.

He took delivery of the six barrels in June 2010 when they arrived at Stansted Airport. But the police traced the barrels to five cocaine factories in Luton and one in Huntingdon and linked Watling to the factories through phone evidence.

Watling, of Chesford Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to six counts of encouraging or assisting in the supply of Class A drugs between 5 June and 18 June 2010.

Judge Richard Foster told him he was a "major conspirator". He said: "Cocaine is an evil substance. Young people experiment and quickly become addicted. Those who deal in drugs are peddlers of evil and misery who have no thought for the victims."

A confiscation hearing is to be held at a later date.

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