A MAN from Crewe who was caught red-handed attempting to smuggle class A drugs from the Dominican Republic has been jailed.

Paul Okeke, 40, from Badger Avenue, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of being concerned in fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of class A drugs and importing a controlled drug with the intention of evading prohibition.

He was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison at Chester Crown Court on September 26.

His plan unravelled when a package from the Dominican Republic destined for Crewe was examined at Stansted Airport by a UK Border Agency officer on May 31, this year.

One of the contents, a rice cooker and steamer, was found to have a false casing which was hiding a quantity of cocaine.

Crewe police were informed and given the package. A few days later a man called the distribution company to ask where his package from the Dominican Republic was.

Detectives began an operation to catch him in the act. They removed the contents of the package and replaced them with other similar items. Officers then arranged for the package to be delivered to the pre-agreed address near to Stafford Street on the morning of June 14.

The occupants of the address later confirmed they had not given permission for any parcels to be delivered to their home for the person named on the package.

Another man collected it for Okeke, while he waited nearby in a car. Okeke was arrested a short distance away after police stopped his Vauxhall Astra.

The other man was arrested, but released without charge.

DS Glyn Leech said: “Working with our colleagues at the UK Border Agency, police were able to stop class A drugs with a street value estimated between £32,000 to £107,000 from getting onto the streets of Crewe.

“We will continue to disrupt the drugs supply chain and bring to justice those who are importing or dealing drugs within our community.”