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Parcel delivery chief sent down for drug trafficking

PUBLISHED: 11:08 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 17:25 25 August 2010

A BUSINESSMAN who used a courier service to transport drugs has been sentenced to four years in jail and ordered to repay £274,000.

A BUSINESSMAN who used a courier service to transport drugs has been sentenced to four years in jail and ordered to repay £274,000.

Mark Anthony Gard of Moore House, Armitage Road, Greenwich, pleaded guilty possession with intent to supply class A drugs, possession with intent to supply class B drugs and deception in relation to benefit fraud at Woolwich Crown Court.

He was sentenced on Monday (7) where he was ordered to pay £274,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), with a default sentence of five years.

The court heard that Gard bought a franchise in a parcel delivery business and used it as a front for transporting and supplying class A drugs across the UK. He used a fleet of vans supplied to him and mail company to deliver the drugs to buyers. The company were unaware of Gard's criminal dealings.

On October 7, a search on Gard's home address revealed over £100,000 cash hidden in a suitcase on top of his wardrobe and drug paraphernalia including scales and clear re-sealable bags.

The cash was seized and officers also searched one of the business vans, parked outside his house, which contained 1.8kg cocaine and 9oz of cannabis resin all packaged and ready for delivery.

The extent of his criminality was uncovered as police collected evidence which showed he was not only illegally subletting his council house in Greenwich while claiming benefits, but that he also owned a number of properties in the UK and Spain.

Initially Gard claimed that the cash was profit made from the business franchise.

Following overwhelming evidence against him, he pleaded guilty to all three charges on September 8 this year.

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