A man has been jailed after specialist officers found more than £3million worth of drugs in the boot of his car.
Sam Migliorini, 32 (11.12.88), of Shaw Avenue, Barking, was sentenced to eight years and three months’ imprisonment on Wednesday, 23 December at Snaresbrook Crown Court after pleading guilty, on the same date, to possession of a Class A drug (cocaine) with intent to supply, and possession of criminal property.
Officers from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command stopped a grey Smart car between junction 24 and 25 on the M25 on Thursday, 1 October as part of a proactive operation.
Migliorini, who was driving the vehicle, was detained and was taken to a car park nearby off the A10 in Enfield. The car was also taken to the car park.
Officers searched Migliorini, and the car, and found a large black holdall in the boot, which contained 30 one kilogram blocks of cocaine – estimated to have a street value of £3million. The blocks were labelled ‘C.E.N.G – Cartel Ecuador Nueva Generacion’.
Migliorini was arrested on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply and taken to an east London police station.
The Smart car was taken to a secure location where it could be thoroughly searched and officers found the vehicle contained a sophisticated hide, which ran the width of the car underneath the front passenger seat and driver's seat.
The hide was operated via a magnet being placed on the centre console below the gearstick. This then lifted up the front passenger seat to reveal the hide, which was empty.
Hides are commonly used within vehicles utilised by organised criminal networks in a bid to avoid detection if stopped by police.
An encrypted mobile phone was also found inside the vehicle. Organised criminal networks commonly use encrypted devices so communication can be made securely, with the aim of avoiding detection from the police and other crime agencies.
As part of their enquiries, officers carried out a search warrant at Migliorini’s home address in Barking. When Migliorini was arrested, he had a Mercedes car key and what officers suspected was a safe key in his possession.
As detectives arrived at his home address, they saw a grey Mercedes leave. The vehicle was found shortly after, parked up and unattended in Shaw Avenue near the address.
The Mercedes key which Migliorini had on him opened the vehicle. Detectives searched the car, which Migliorini was insured on, and found a safe in the boot. The other key Migliorini had on him opened the safe and officers found about £15,000 in cash inside.
Migliorini was further arrested for possession of criminal property.
He answered no comment to all questions put to him in his police interview and he was subsequently charged on Friday, 2 October.
Detective Sergeant Gemma Brown, from the Specialist Crime Command, said: “This was a significant seizure of Class A drugs and this a great example of how officers are tirelessly working to disrupt the supply of drugs.
“The people who are involved in the supply of drugs clearly have very little regard for the chaos of violence that comes with it. Seizures such as this stop drugs reaching the streets of London, where they have the potential to cause great harm to people and communities.
“Criminals who think they can use things such as hides and encrypted devices to evade capture are wrong – you will be caught and brought to justice.”