Pair found with £1million of cocaine near Dagenham jailed for 31 years

James Chrysostomo (left) and Andrew Pritchard (right) were arrested on the A13 with 6kg of cocaine.

James Chrysostomo (left) and Andrew Pritchard (right) were arrested on the A13 with 6kg of cocaine. - Credit: Archant

Two men who were found with £1million worth of cocaine after meeting someone in Dagenham have been jailed for a total of 31 years.

John Middleton was jailed for two-and-a-half years for possession with intent to supply 500g of coca

John Middleton was jailed for two-and-a-half years for possession with intent to supply 500g of cocaine. - Credit: Archant

James Chrysostomou, 48, of Woodcote Road, Leigh-on-Sea, was yesterday sentenced to 16 years behind bars for supplying 500g of cocaine and possession with intent to supply 6kg of the Class A drug.

Andrew Pritchard, 48, of Blenheim Chase, Leigh-on-Sea, was found guilty after a retrial of possession with intent to supply 6kg of cocaine and jailed on March 25 for 15 years.

On the morning of November 18, 2013, Pritchard and Chrysostomou met up near their homes in Leigh-on-Sea before driving to Maplestead Road, Dagenham, where a man placed a package into Chrysostomou’s car.

The pair then drove back towards Essex, but were stopped by officers on the A13 – trying and failing to force a police car off the road in the process.


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Both men were arrested and 6kg of cocaine with a street value of about £1million was found in Dutch supermarket carrier bags inside the vehicle.

John Middleton, 60, of Wulversford, Witham, was also found guilty after a retrial of possession with intent to supply 500g of cocaine and was jailed for two-and-a-half years yesterday, following arrest on May 10, 2013.

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All three were sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court.

Det Sgt Nicola Hawkins of the Organised Crime Command said: “Pritchard and Chrysostomou were sophisticated criminals who sought to evade arrest and destroy evidence by trying to force a police car off the road and throwing mobile phones into the road.

“Through the skill and determination of officers, they were arrested on the A13 with nobody sustaining injuries, and the mobile phones were recovered and played a key part in securing guilty verdicts.

“I am pleased that Pritchard and Chrysostomou in particular have been given substantial jail sentences.

“I hope these will dissuade others from believing that dealing in Class A drugs is a risk worth taking.”

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