Two Northampton drug kingpins who smuggled £5million worth of heroin into the UK using Dutch connections have been sentenced.
Jason Chisholm, 42, and Robert Lovatt, 39, brought at least 40kg of the Class A drug into the UK between June and August 2015.
Chisholm, of Military Road, near the town centre, and Lovatt, of Lyttleton Road, Spencer, were sentenced at Northampton Crown Court today (April 10) for evading customs laws by importing the heroin, as well as being involved in a conspiracy to supply the drugs.
His Honour Judge Michael Fowler, in sentencing, said: "In the right hands, drugs can save our lives and control our pain. But in the wrong hands, they cause immeasurable damage to society, to families and to the lives of everyone affected.
"I am sure the quantity and the purity of what you sought to import would have resulted in death at some stage."
Two other men from the Netherlands, Johannes Woltering, 42, and Johannes Weber, 38, were sentenced to a combined total of more than 32 years for their leading roles in the operation.
The conspiracy to import the drugs was discovered after a falling-out inside the group led to Chisholm contacting Northamptonshire Police and giving them the details of the next shipment.
Against the police's instructions, Chisholm then tried to warn the rest of the gang.
Chisholm also failed to tell police that the gang had already smuggled one load of heroin into the country.
Lovatt, who pleaded guilty to his charges, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Chisholm, whow as found guilty following a three-week trial, was sentenced to four years and six months.
Judge Fowler, in sentencing Chisholm, said: "If not for your actions, none of the other conspirators would have been discovered by police.
"Nevertheless, you willingly took part in the first delivery."