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Importer of Class A drugs hidden in car parts is sentenced to four years

Custody image of drugs importer Gabriel Coelho
Gabriel Coelho

**The following release is issued by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit**

A man who attempted to import a kilo of cocaine from Brazil concealed inside car parts has been sentenced to four years and three months in prison.

Gabriel Coelho, 19, from Courtney View, Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, appeared at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday (16 August) after pleading guilty to importing a Class A Drug, namely cocaine. It follows an investigation by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU), supported by UK Border Force.

Coelho was arrested in February after the package was intercepted by UK Border Force officers at East Midlands Airport.

On inspection, the package contained four black metal car suspension arms which had been tampered with and were found to contain a total of 1kg of cocaine, with a street value of up to £100k.

Suspension arm with drugs inside
Suspension arm with drugs inside

Temporary DCI Charlotte Tucker of SW ROCU said: “This was a brazen attempt to import £100k worth of Class A drugs direct from Brazil to his door – a valuable commodity for the organised crime group, meaning further exploitation and harm in our communities.

“The initial interception by colleagues at Border Force and the response led by SW ROCU officers not only meant the drugs were prevented from reaching our streets, but the offender – Coelho – was swiftly identified and ultimately pleaded guilty.”

Grant Coombes, Border Force Assistant Director for East Midlands Airport Freight, said: “This case is just one example of Border Force and the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit working around the clock to target and disrupt drug supply chains that wreak havoc across communities in the South West.

“Those involved can be proud of their work and particularly those officers that intercepted this dangerous drug from entering our streets.”