Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

Jail for 8.8m cannabis haul man

Dean Merrick
Dean Merrick was the "warehouse man" for the operation

A man has been jailed for seven years after cannabis with a street value of 8.8m was found in the West Midlands.

Dean Merrick, 42, of Church Street, Bulkington, Warwickshire, admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply at Birmingham Crown Court.

The roofer was arrested in July 2008 following a raid on storage units on the edge of Coventry.

The discovery of three tons of cannabis resin was the biggest ever seizure of the drug by West Midlands Police.

Merrick was described as the "warehouse man" responsible for receiving pallets of drugs and storing them.

'Large profits'

David Hislop, defending, said Merrick was not involved in buying or selling the drugs.

Sentencing, Judge Robert Orme said: "By any standards that is a very, very substantial amount of cannabis resin.

Cannabis resin seized
The drugs were found in storage units on the edge of Coventry

"I have been told this was as large a recovery of cannabis resin as has been made by police during 2008.

"Your role is clear and I have accepted in the main what Mr Hislop has to say about it.

"You were plainly a trusted participant in the chain of supply but your principal role was to act as a warehouse man for this substantial amount of cannabis resin."

Det Insp Sarbjit Johal said: "This man was looking to make large profits from crime and we have ensured that he will not be able to do that.

"Some people are of the misguided belief that cannabis is a soft drug, but this sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence."

He added police would look to recover Merrick's profits through the Proceeds of Crime Act.


Jail for 8.8m cannabis haul man

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Three tonnes of cannabis seized
17 Jul 08 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

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