Express & Star

Serial drug smuggler landed with 11-year jail sentence after being caught with cocaine at Birmingham Airport

A man responsible for smuggling hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cocaine into the UK via Birmingham Airport has been jailed.

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Tasco Lambert, 46, from Hall Green in Birmingham, became the subject of a National Crime Agency investigation in August 2023 after he was detained following his arrival on a flight from Montego Bay.

Border Force officers carrying out checks on incoming passengers x-rayed his luggage, and found nine rectangular packages inside his suitcase. Eight contained high purity cocaine, in total weighing around 8.25 kilograms.

If adulterated and sold the cocaine would have had a street value of around £660,000. The ninth package contained around 100g of herbal cannabis.

Lambert denied responsibility for the drugs being in his baggage, claiming he’d been to Jamaica for a last-minute holiday with a friend.

NCA investigators were able to identify a further three trips made by Lambert to Jamaica in 2022 and 2023, two from Manchester and one from Gatwick.

Lambert denied importing class A and B drugs, but on Friday, February 16, following a four-day trial, a jury at Birmingham Crown Court found him guilty of both offences. Today he was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

In 2001, he was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison after being caught smuggling cannabis into Heathrow.

NCA branch operations manager Paul Boniface said today: “Tasco Lambert was a professional drug smuggler who thought he could beat the system.

“He didn’t learn his lesson following his first conviction, and now he’ll serve a significant period of time in prison for this latest offence.

“Working with law enforcement partners like Border Force, we are determined to do all we can to disrupt the organised crime gangs involved in drug supply, and that includes targeting couriers like Lambert who are crucial to their business models.”

Phillip Holiday, Border Force regional director, said: “Our Border Force officers played a pivotal role in detecting and seizing thousands of pounds worth of cocaine which ensured that this dangerous criminal was arrested and brought to justice.

“We remain committed to stopping dangerous drugs from entering the country and continue to work relentlessly to keep the public safe and our borders secure.”