A man who ran an international business supplying materials to make cocaine faces jail after he was convicted by a jury.
James Beeby, 51, was found guilty of money laundering and being involved in the supply of cocaine at Chichester Crown Court last week after an eight-day trial.
Beeby, also known as Aaron Beebs, admitted two counts of having a weapon after police found a stun gun and pepper spray.
An investigation by detectives from Sussex Police and expert financial investigators showed how over £150,000 had passed through his bank account over 18 months.
Beeby, of Hammy Lane, Shoreham, was arrested after an investigation into the supply of cutting agents including benzocaine, boric acid and phenacetin to customers in Britain and abroad.
From August 2017 to December 2018, Border Force officers intercepted eight packages which had been sent from China to two addresses in Sussex connected to Beeby.
Cutting agents weighing about 320kg – or more than a third of a ton – were recovered from premises linked to Beeby during the police investigation.
Sussex Police said today (Wednesday 24 November): “On his arrest in May 2019, Beeby attempted to portray a legitimate business selling these chemicals for various uses, despite his websites offering assurances of discretion and the sheer quantities making any legitimate use extremely unlikely.
“He supplied cutting agent to clients in the UK, the US and Canada.
“During the trial, evidence was heard from a drugs expert witness about phone messages recovered from his phone and evidence that he had purchased the cutting agents, showing his knowledge of their intended use in the supply of cocaine.
“This amount of cutting agent had the potential, when cut with cocaine, to produce drugs with a value of between £20 million and £40 million pounds at street level.”
Detective Inspector Alan Pack said: “This investigation and outcome demonstrates our commitment to disrupt all parts of drug supply which we know can blight our communities everywhere.”
Beeby, formerly of Paddockhurst Road, Crawley, was granted bail by the trial judge Mr Recorder Brock, also known as David Brock.
It looks likely that Beeby will be jailed in the first week of January, when he is due to be sentenced.
A further hearing will be scheduled later for the potential seizure of assets to be assessed by the court under the Proceeds of Crime Act.