20/02/2016 00:07 GMT | Updated 19/02/2017 05:12 GMT

Prison Terms Handed Out To Members Of Drugs Gang

An eight-strong gang of drug traffickers have been jailed for a total of nearly 50 years.

The net began to close on the men, who were all from Nottingham or Birmingham, when French investigators seized 1.3 tonnes of cocaine hidden in suitcases on an Air France flight from Venezuela's capital Caracas to Paris in September 2013.

They are said to be associates of alleged international drug trafficker Robert Dawes who was arrested at his villa in Benalmadena in Costa del Sol in November 2015, according to the National Crime Agency. He was extradited to France, where he awaits trial.

The men were sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court.

William Goldhawk, 33, of, Nottingham, was sentenced to five and a half years after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply heroin and money laundering.

Nottingham-based Jermaine Hammond, 30, and Shaun Porteous, 48, each pleaded guilty to possessing heroin with intent to supply.

Hammond was jailed for four years and eight months while Porteous was sentenced to 13 years and four months.

Jamie Parlor, 28, of Bramcote, Nottingham, was jailed for five years being found guilty to possessing heroin with intent to supply.

Oliver Junior, 36, of Nottingham, was jailed for eight and a half years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply MDMA and possession with intent to supply amphetamine.

Mark Thone, 51, of Nottingham, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply amphetamine and was sentenced to three years.

Kane Price, 28 of Nottingham, who had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply MDMA, was jailed for three and a half years.

Birmingham-based Masued Khalil, 50, was sentenced to five years and four months after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply MDMA and possessing cannabis.

The agency was working with the East Midlands special operations unit and Nottinghamshire Police when NCA officers observed Price receiving a kilo of MDMA from Junior in June 2015.

Junior, who had previously been seen handing a bag containing £2,000 cash to another criminal, was arrested later that month.

He collected two kilos of amphetamine from a house in Beeston belonging to Thone. Officers found 26 and a half kilos of amphetamine in Thone's freezer after they arrested both men.

Officers also discovered an industrial pill press at Junior's garage.

During other surveillance operations police watched as more of Dawes' criminal associates were involved in drug and cash exchanges.

Among those arrested was Porteous who delivered a kilo of heroin to Goldhawk in February 2015. Police later found 12 kilos of heroin in Porteous's car.

Officers also seized an another 11 kilos of MDMA and £7,000 cash during the investigation.

Rob Hickinbottom, of the NCA, said after the hearing: "Our investigation is ongoing and further arrests and prosecutions are planned."