An international cocaine supplier who used to live in Brighton and Hove has been jailed for six and a half years.
James Beeby was convicted by a jury of running an operation supplying materials to create cocaine after an investigation by Sussex Police detectives and financial investigators.
Beeby, 51, was found guilty of money laundering and being involved in the supply of cocaine at Chichester Crown Court in November after an eight-day trial.
Sussex Police said: “He had also pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a weapon, after police recovered a stun gun and a pepper spray during the investigation.”
Beeby, of Hammy Lane, Shoreham, was jailed at Chichester Crown Court on Tuesday (4 January) by the trial judge Mr Recorder Brock, also known as David Brock.
His sentencing follows a police 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.
Some 320kg of cutting agents were recovered during the police investigation from premises linked to Beeby, who is also known as Aaron Beebs.
And financial evidence acquired by expert police investigators showed how more than £150,000 had passed through his bank account during this time.
Investigators also found that more than 1,370kg (1.3 tonnes) of cutting agent had passed through his hands, with a total estimated resale value of £1.3 million.
Sussex Police said: “This amount of cutting agent had the potential, when cut with cocaine, to produce drugs with a value of up to £20 million at street level.
“On his arrest in May 2019, Beeby attempted to portray himself as 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.”
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.
“Action against Beeby continues, with a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act, for potential seizure of assets identified by investigators, at the same court on Tuesday 24 May.”
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