Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Thursday, 26 November 2009

Cocaine gang Olympic star guilty

James Waithe
Waithe represented Barbados at the Olympics

A former Olympic judo finalist from Bristol has been convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Bristol Crown Court heard how James Waithe, 47, was part of a gang which at its height was collecting more than £1m per week from the sale of drugs.

A second man, Robert Brookes, 63, has been found guilty of conspiracy to possess stun grenades.

Waithe represented Barbados at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and England in the 2006 Commonwealth Judo Championships.

Before the trial began Brookes and three other men, Craig Rodel, 46, Grant Richmond, 29, and 22-year-old Kevin Downes, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Weapons 'arsenal'

Officers were called to a report of a burglary at Waithe's flat in Highridge Green, south Bristol, where they found a "cocaine factory".

Inside they found a 10-tonne hydraulic press, drugs and cutting agents.

Footage of Waithe's Bristol flat including guns and ammunition

There was also an "arsenal" of weapons in the flat, including rifles, handguns, stun grenades and ammunition.

Waithe previously told Bristol Crown Court he owned the flat but did not live there and had nothing to do with the illegal enterprise.

He was found not guilty of conspiracy to possess an explosive substance.

The jury is still to reach a verdict on six counts of possession of a firearm against Waithe, and will continue deliberations on Friday.

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