Drug mule's county lines cocaine empire came crashing down after Hull visit

A drugs courier was found with up to GBP1m worth of cocaine after being stopped on the M4 by police. Dale Wigglesworth, 44, had travelled from his home in the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, at 4am on June 6 this year and was destined for an address in Newport. But at around 8am he was stopped by officers who searched his Iveco truck and found 12kg worth of cocaine in a tin which had been kept inside a bin liner sellotaped to the floor in a hollow section underneath the passenger seat.

He had made a trip to Hull the day before he was caught, reports Wales Online. Officers also found an itinerary written in code, but easily deciphered, which revealed Wigglesworth had trafficked up to GBP6m worth of cocaine in the week preceding his arrest alone.

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Also discovered was a sunglasses case containing white powder, a grip seal bag containing 3g of cocaine, latex gloves, and an EncroChat mobile phone. The estimated value of the cocaine was found to be between GBP420,000 and GBP540,000 at wholesale value and between GBP960,000 and GBP1.2m at street value.

Speaking at a sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Monday prosecutor Kelly Brocklehurst said: “The defendant played a significant role and was a very much-trusted and industrious courier in the world of organised crime and had been transporting cocaine between May and June. “He knew exactly the contents of his deliveries and was working for someone called ‘Northern Lights’. He did this willingly and freely”.

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The court also heard Wigglesworth had also been transporting vast sums of cash and had been dealing on a much smaller scale himself. The itinerary, written on freight company headed notepaper, detailed deliveries and collections of drugs and cash which involved trips to Hull, Coventry, Cardiff, London, and Tunbridge Wells between June 1 and 5. These movements were confirmed by cell site data from the defendant’s phone.

The estimated value of the drugs trafficked over this period was between GBP2.1m and GBP2.7m wholesale and up to GBP6m at street level.

Drug mule's county lines cocaine empire came crashing down after Hull visitStock image of cocaine

The defendant later pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession of cocaine. In mitigation Jonathan Page said his client had suffered from cocaine addiction and had accrued drugs debts which had led him to dealing. The barrister added: “His addiction overbore any sensible decision-making capabilities he had.

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“He was estimated to have been in possession of GBP1m of drugs when driving to Coventry – a decision no-one in their right mind would have taken.

Doing it for GBP600 with all the risks involved. Again it points to the vulnerability of people like Mr Wigglesworth.” The defendant’s brother Paul Wigglesworth gave evidence at the hearing and described how his sibling lived with his elderly parents and was their primary carer until his arrest.

He described the defendant as “easily led” and as suffering from depression. Sentencing, Recorder Sean Bradley said: “This is a sad story. You were of previous good character but became involved in criminal activity on a large scale.

“You may have been vulnerable and easily led but you took the risk, made your choices, and those choices have consequences.”

Wigglesworth, of High Street, Queenborough, Kent, was jailed for seven years and eight months.

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