Courier for drugs gang given five-and-a-half years


A drugs courier involved in trafficking M Cat and amphetamine as part of a £1 million criminal operation was today (Thursday) jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Stephen Hopkins was the last of 17 defendants to be sentenced for their parts in a conspiracy in which drugs were transported from Merseyside to Hull via Boston.

James McDonald, prosecuting, said that Hopkins acted as a courier in eight occasions taking M Cat and amphetamine.

After his arrest police searched his flat in Liverpool and found one-third of a kilogram of heroin which he was looking after for dealers.

Hopkins, 51, of Caernarvon Road, Liverpool, admitted two charges of conspiracy to supply drugs and a further charge of possession of heroin with intent to supply.

He was sentenced via video link from Liverpool Crown Court after failing to appear alongside 16 other defendants on Friday of last week. They received sentences totalling 78 years for their roles in the drugs supply operation.

Peter Killen, defending, said Hopkins was a drug addict who was recruited by others to become involved.

He agreed to take part to clear his drug debts.

Mr Killen said “ He is a man who has clear physical and psychiatric problems.

“He has chronic pulmonary obstructive disease and asthma in addition to depression and opiate dependence.

“His payment was the reduction of a drugs debt.”

Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, told Hopkins “This was professional drug trafficking.”