POLICE today said they had stopped the “champagne lifestyle” of three men behind a plot to smuggle hundreds of thousands of pounds of cannabis into Birmingham.
Matthew Feavyour, 29, from Hall Green, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply class B drugs for his role in the smuggling operation.
His accomplices Andrew Rickard, 44, of Hall Green, and Gary Moore, 51, from Solihull, had pleaded guilty at the start of a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
The trio now face long spells in jail for masterminding the elaborate plot to import cannabis resin, with an estimated street value of £270,000, hidden in air conditioning units.
Superintendent John Birch, from the force’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “I’m delighted by the jury’s decision to find Feavyour guilty.
“Their verdict brings to an end the champagne lifestyle of three criminals who profited from other people’s misery.
The trio were arrested after a painstaking police operation which saw the interception of a consignment of parts for air conditioning units from the Netherlands in April. The load was destined for an industrial unit in Sparkbrook, set up as a front for their illegal enterprise and rented by Moore. In total, 380 ‘soap bar’ blocks of cannabis resin, weighing almost 95 kilos, were recovered.
When officers raided Moore’s home, they found a Porsche Cayman and Bentley Continental on his drive and a wardrobe full of designer clothes. In his loft was a small cannabis factory.
In three bedrooms of Feavyour’s four-bed house was a hydroponics system for the cultivation of 128 cannabis plants, while in Rickard’s home, police found cling film used to wrap the air conditioning units and recovered a silver Mercedes.
Detectives are now examining the men’s finances to see if they can strip them of their wealth under the proceeds of crime legislation.
The men will be sentenced on Monday, November 9, at Birmingham Crown Court.
By Mark Cowan