£4.5million cocaine dealer found hiding in a child’s playhouse

·2-min read
Cocaine dealer Robert Stewart, 32 (National Crime Agency )
Cocaine dealer Robert Stewart, 32 (National Crime Agency )

A cocaine dealer has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years after he ran from police and hid in a child’s playhouse.

Robert Stewart, 32, was caught with 57 kilos of Class A drugs worth £4.5million stuffed into holdalls.

Stewart was unaware that he was under surveillance by National Crime Agency officers as he travelled from a car park at Luton airport on April 23.

As officers moved in, he attempted to escape, jumping over a fence at the rear of a pub and threw the keys to his van into a bush in Luton Road, Harpenden.

The NCA called in support from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police, as well as the force helicopter.

Stewart was found hiding in a playhouse in a nearby garden a short time later.

In the rear of his van, officers discovered the holdalls of drugs. A search uncovered two empty purpose-built and hydraulically operated hides in the vehicle.

Stewart, of Broadwater Gardens, Orpington, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply class A drugs at Luton Crown Court on May 23. He was sentenced on Friday.

Robert Stewart was unaware that he was under surveillance (National Crime Agency)
Robert Stewart was unaware that he was under surveillance (National Crime Agency)

Adam Berry, NCA branch operations manager, said: “I’ve no doubt that had he not been stopped those drugs would have ended on the streets of south east England, in the hands of gangs who bring violence and exploitation to our communities.

“We are grateful to Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Police for their support in this operation, and we remain determined to do all we can to target and disrupt the organised networks involved in the distribution of class A drugs.”

Sergeant Julian Byrne, from Bedfordshire Police’s airport policing team, said: “I would like to pay tribute to our officers for apprehending Stewart.

“His involvement in drug dealing shows he is a dangerous individual, and it’s positive that he will no longer bring harmful substances into our communities.

“We’re committed to keeping our county safe from the scourge of drugs and will work quickly to apprehend those thought to be involved.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting