£70,000 of cocaine found in secret compartment of van on M55

Stephen Allen, 37, of Warrington Road, Prescot, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to possessing the class A drug.
Stephen Allen, 37, of Warrington Road, Prescot, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to possessing the class A drug.
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A man has been jailed after hiding 2kg of cocaine worth £70,000 in a secret compartment in his van.

Stephen Allen, 37, of Warrington Road, Prescot, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to possessing the class A drug.

Stephen Allen, 37, of Warrington Road, Prescot, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to possessing the class A drug.

Stephen Allen, 37, of Warrington Road, Prescot, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to possessing the class A drug.

Allen was stopped on the M55, near Kirkham, while he was travelling towards Blackpool, on Friday, February 17, Preston Crown Court heard.

His VW Caddy was searched for two hours but nothing untoward was found, the hearing was told.

But with a sniffer dog indicating there were drugs on board, officers seized the van and the illict haul was finally found in a purpose-built ‘void’ behind the passenger seat.

A hunt was launched for Allen, and he was finally arrested in July, at Manchester Airport, after flying back from Spain, a spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said yesterday.

Det Sgt Chris Sanderson, of Blackpool Police, said: “When Allen was stopped he was in possession of a significant amount of cocaine which would undoubtedly have brought misery to the streets of Blackpool. It is thanks to the tenacity of the officers who initially stopped him that these drugs have been taken out of circulation.”