A man who conspired to supply cannabis resin to the north east of England has pleaded guilty, today, 6 December at Kingston Crown Court.
Jamie Acourt, 42, was one of a group of four men named as suspects after Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack near an Eltham bus stop in 1993.
Acourt pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to supply class B drugs, namely cannabis resin, between of 1 January 2014 and 2 May 2015. He will be sentenced today, Friday December 7.
An investigation, which was launched in 2014, has resulted in six men being convicted for their roles in the conspiracy.
Officers were able to provide evidence of a highly-organised network of criminals transporting cannabis by road and supplying to dealers from their stronghold in Eltham.
The gang was incredibly careful in its planning and recruitment, communicating face-to-face and using only trusted people they either knew well or were related to.
On 1 February 2016, supported by the North East Regional Support Unit, detectives from the Met’s Special Projects Team executed simultaneous search and arrest warrants at a number of addresses in Northumbria and south-east London.
Eight men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply drugs. Officers also seized 100 kilos of cannabis and £40,000 in cash. Five men were subsequently convicted and sentenced for their part in the conspiracy, in February 2017.
Detectives had established that Jamie Acourt was central to the conspiracy, but he fled before the arrests took place. He was subsequently traced to Barcelona, where he was arrested by Spanish police on 4 May 2018, on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service. He was charged on his arrival back to the UK, on 6 June.
Acourt subsequently pleaded guilty to the charge midway through his trial, on 6 December.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bedford of the Met’s Organised Crime Command, said:
“Today’s conviction is the culmination of several years’ of complex investigation by Met detectives. Diligent policing work has enabled the team to build a case which has disbanded a drugs network valued around £4 million. Their tenacity has ensured that six members of the drugs network have now faced justice.
The support provided to our officers by the NCA and the Spanish authorities was invaluable in locating Acourt and extraditing him to the UK and is a great demonstration of how we work with our international partners across international borders to fight crime.”