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Shoreham man convicted of international cocaine supply

A West Sussex man who ran a business supplying materials to create cocaine now faces jail after an investigation by Sussex Police detectives and financial investigators.

James Beeby, 51, of Hammy Lane, Shoreham, was convicted at Chichester Crown Court on Wednesday 17 November after an eight-day trial, of being concerned in the supply of cocaine, and money laundering,

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.

This conviction follows an investigation by the West Sussex Community Investigation Team into the supply of cutting agents including benzocaine, boric acid and phenacetin to customers in the UK and abroad.

Between August 2017 and December 2018, Border Force officers had intercepted eight packages which had been sent from China to two addresses in Sussex connected to Beeby.

Some 320 kilos of the cutting agent were recovered during the police investigation from premises linked to Beeby, and financial evidence acquired by expert police investigators showed how over £150,000 had passed through his bank account during this time.

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 of the West Sussex Community Investigation Team said "This investigation and outcome demonstrates our commitment to disrupt all parts of drug supply which we know can blight our communities everywhere.

Beeby is currently on court bail awaiting sentence in the first week of January 2022, with a hearing for potential seizure of assets to be assessed by the court under the Proceeds of Crime Act hearing to follow at a later date.

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