<DIV id=post_message_3656461>UK News
Biggest ever ketamine pushers jailed
Wednesday, 23rd November 2005, 12:56
Category: Healthy Living
http://www.lse.co.uk/ShowStory.asp?story=LI2319974D&news _headline=bigge st_ever_ketamine_pushers_jailed
LIFE STYLE EXTRA (UK) - Two drug pushers were jailed today after police seized ketamine worth up to £4 million - Britain's biggest ever haul of the dance clubbers' favourite.
Bernard Calder and Paul Nally, both just released from long prison sentences for smuggling drugs, were caught dealing in huge quantities of prescription only drugs "including enough ketamine to anaesthetise a million people."
Best known by the street names K, Special K and Vitamin K, ketamine is now the drug of choice on the club and rave scene and when mixed with cocaine is dubbed "Calvin Klein". The anaesthetic is more usually associated with vets and has been used to dope race-horses.
Officers from the National Crime Squad's "Operation Thurlon" found 200 kilos of the drug in west London - along with about 124,000 LSD tablets worth about £370,000.
Prosecutor David Allan told Isleworth Crown Court the LSD seizure was greater than all those in the whole of the EU in 2003.
Other drugs found were the chemical equivalents of the sex performance boosting drugs Viagra and Cialis worth almost £5,000.
Builder's labourer Calder, 55, who pleaded guilty to possessing the Class A drug LSD with intent to supply, was sentenced to 10 years and also ordered to serve 129 days of an unexpired licence. He was given concurrent sentences for possessing ketamine and the other prescription-only drugs which fall under the 1994 Medicines Act.
Nally, 41, who also pleaded guilty to possessing ketamine and the other drugs, was jailed for 15 months. He must also serve one year and eight months of an unexpired sentence after he was released early on licence. A confiscation order of £2,843 was also imposed.
Calder was arrested as he drove a van away from his home in Uxbridge, early on April 20. Police found the substances when they swooped on the property and a garage in nearby Ruislip which the pair converted into a 'drugs warehouse'.
Nally, of Harrow, was first caught in February walking away from a crashed Alfa Romeo in Uxbridge, with a bag full of Viagra tablets.
He was not charged but a month later police set up surveillance on the garage rented in Calder's name and visited regularly by Nally.
Detective Chief Inspector Alex Wood, of the National Crime Squad, said: "These men have shown the true diversity of organised crime in their ability to be flexible about commodities."
Arwel Jones, District Crown Prosecutor of the Crown Prosecution Service, London, said: "Drug dealers pose one of the greatest challenges to law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and the wider criminal justice system. They are well financed and innovative in their exploitation of new opportunities, new markets and new technologies.
"Calder and Nally were running an operation selling prescription only medicines for illicit use. We have to be ruthless in our pursuit of those who deal in drugs. The law is there and we are determined to hit them hard whenever we can."
Although ketamine does have a legitimate market, there is growing concern about its misuse. Not only does it have its own direct abusers, many people use it as a cutting agent for cocaine. Prior to this seizure, the biggest seizure of ketamine powder was just 3 kilos.
The drug comes in various forms, commonly as a powder, but also as a liquid and a tablet.
Judge Lowen said: "The aggravating feature of these offences is the fact that the tablets were counterfeit, not produced under the strict controls of the drug companies and therefore a possible health risk. This risk you clearly disregarded.
"You were involved in operating a wholesale supply of these products with a background of knowledge of substance abuse.
"These substances are commonly used in conjunction with the taking of class A drugs and this too is an aggravating feature of this case."
Turning to Calder, the Judge continued: "This was a very substantial quantity of LSD. You were clearly a large-scale commercial supplier and you have been convicted of drug trafficking before.
"I am unable to accept that you were a mere custodian or lowly foot soldier in someone else's enterprise. But where you come in the hierarchy I cannot be sure. But clearly you are a professional supplier of LSD and other illicit drugs."
Calder worked as a labourer on the demolition of Battersea power station and showed no evidence of an extravagant lifestyle. In November 1999 he was jailed for six and a half years for smuggling 750 kilos of cannabis into the country. It was imported in transformer boxes from Morocco and Calder drove the lorry, said Mr Allan.
Nally, married with a teenage son and with no visible means of support, was jailed for 12 years later reduced to 10 years in November 1997 for smuggling eight and a half kilos of cocaine through Heathrow from Trinidad in a hold-all.
Both men were on licence from these sentences when arrested in this case, said Mr Allan. Calder is forbidden from travelling abroad for 5 years after completion of his sentence</DIV>
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