Dagenham men in court over £8.5million Kent drugs bust

Two men have been implicated in a drugs bust in Kent where cannabis worth £8.5million was seized by police.

Martin Merritt, 39, of Grosvenor Road, Dagenham, has pleaded guilty to his part in the supply chain but Hugh Webb, 52, of Standfield Gardens, Dagenham denies conspiracy to supply cannabis.

At the start of Webb’s trial at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday (29), the court heard he and Merritt were arrested in a police swoop on a road earlier this year.

Prosecutor Steven Perian said a lorry driven by Webb arrived at Daniels Water Farm in Ashford on March 8 and two large containers were loaded onto it.

Webb drove off, followed by a Mercedes in which Merritt was a passenger.

Police, who had been observing the farm, pounced, stopping the lorry as it drove along.

On being arrested, HGV driver Webb told officers: “I am just doing a job. My boss doesn’t know I am doing this.”

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He claims he was given £500 for making the pick-up but had no knowledge what he was transporting.

He said: “I am not knowingly involved in anything to do with supplying controlled drugs. If I had known it was drugs, I would have walked away.”

Merritt had a knuckleduster on him when he was arrested.

Three other men are also accused of being involved, two of which have pleaded guilty and the other is on trial with Webb.

Merritt will be sentenced at the end of the trial along with brothers Michael Malone, of Hove, East Sussex, and Danny Malone, of Collier Street, Tonbridge.

Mr Perian said the cannabis retrieved from the containers was worth up to £2million wholesale but between £4.89million and £8.5million on the street.

The trial continues.