Man gets 20 years for drugs haul


An Englishman involved in a €440 million smuggling operation in west Cork has been jailed for 20 years in Britain.

Steven Brown (46) had been extradited from Spain back to Britain last April on charges relating to the Dunlough Bay drugs seizure near Mizen Head in west Cork in 2007, when a plot to smuggle cocaine into Ireland went awry.

The plan came undone when a member of the gang put diesel into the petrol engines of a high-powered rigid inflatable (RIB) boat which stalled and overturned in the choppy waters of Dunlough Bay. Its load of 62 bales of cocaine was tossed into the sea.

Brown pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to import the drugs into Britain when he appeared at Woolwich Crown Court in London.

Mr Justice Hilliard today paid tribute to police forces both in the UK and Ireland for their “professionalism and expertise” in investigating such a large scale and complex smuggling drugs operation.