On 10 October 2017, UK Border Force officers intercepted a parcel sent from an address in Belgium, addressed to Steven Meakes at his home in Harrogate.
Preliminary checks indicated that inside the parcel was a quantity of cocaine, with an approximate value of £1,200.
Officers from North Yorkshire Police attended Meakes’ home address, a rented flat in Harrogate, and he was arrested. A search was conducted at the property, where officers recovered various items including a bundle of clear zip-lock bags, a box containing a blade and black paper with white powder residue, a table tennis bat with white powder residue, latex gloves and a set of black weighing scales.
An investigation into his finances revealed Meakes had purchased over £21,000 worth of Bitcoin in the eight months before the interception of the drugs.
At the time of his arrest, Meakes, 41, was employed as an accountant.
When his phone and laptops were examined, investigators discovered search history relating to “best industries to make money”, “where to buy chemicals”, “drugs” and “parcel tracking”.
Meakes was charged, and pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. On Thursday 26 September 2019, at a hearing in front of His Honour Judge Hickey at York Crown Court, evidence was presented by officers from North Yorkshire Police to examine the extent to which Meakes was involved in the onwards supply of drugs.
Following the hearing, Meakes was sentenced for importing a class A drug with intent to evade a prohibition, receiving a custodial sentence of three years and four months.