A fugitive from Wearside arrested on a European warrant over his involvement in an international drugs ring has been brought back to the UK and jailed for seven years.
Stuart Mottram jnr, from Sunderland, was extradited from Amsterdam by the National Crime Agency so he could be questioned in relation to his involvement in a £7million plot to import amphetamine into the UK.
The 47-year-old is the son of notorious Wearside criminal Stuart “Benny the Brick” Mottram, who died in September 2011.
Mottram jnr had been living in the Netherlands, where he organised the drugs gang’s overseas dealings, before going on the run when his accomplices were jailed in 2013.
After being extradited to the northeast in February, Mottram pleaded guilty to conspiracy to evade the prohibition on importation of amphetamine.
Before his transfer to the United Kingdom, Mottram had faced drugs charges in Spain where he was sentenced to two years and nine months behind bars, which was later suspended.
During the Spanish proceedings, Mottram was fined four million euros but served 15 days behind bars in default of paying it.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Mr Recorder Jamie Hill QC sentenced him to seven years behind bars and banned him from any overseas travel for three years after his release.
The sentence was in connection with two shipments of pure amphetamine which were imported into the UK from the Netherlands.
The judge told him: “This was obviously a serious and very professionally organised conspiracy to bring amphetamine into the UK.
“If reduced to the lowest possible level for distribution on the streets, it could potentially have run into millions of pounds worth of amphetamine.”
Newcastle Crown Court heard the gang carried out a “sophisticated conspiracy”, using pre-paid mobile phones and coded messages to arrange the importation of he drugs.
The first batch of liquid amphetamine, worth £5.28million on the streets, was found stored in six 10 litre containers in the cabin of his lorry at Coquelles in France in October.
A second seizure, worth £2.04m was made in February 2013 during an exchange at a car park in Doxford Park, Sunderland.
The gang had been under surveillance by specialist undercover officers who had tracked them using 13 different phone boxes in the North East to organise their deals, with contacts in Belgium and Holland.
Prosecutor Katie Rafter told the court: “Stuart Mottram, the crown say, directed and organised things from his location in the Netherlands.
“The crown say he played a leading role in the conspiracy.
“He was close to the source of the amphetamine and expected to make substantial profit.
“The crown say it was a highly organised group.
“Substantial financial profits must have been made and were expected in future.
“The two seizures were representative of an illegal business operation on a commercial scale, being in operation for some time and set to continue in future.
“Mottram deliberately placed himself out of the UK in order to supply drugs from the continent.
“There is a real risk of further offending if he is allowed to travel outside the UK in future.”
Robin Patton, defending, said Mottram was heavily involved in the conspiracy but was not at the top of the chain.
Mr Patton said Mottram moved to the Netherlands and rented a flat in Amsterdam because he “wanted to make a life for himself out of the UK.”
Five member of the drugs gang were put behind bars in 2013, when Mottram became a wanted man.
Sandro Farini, 47, of Grange View, Newbottle, and Sahota, 47, of Keats Avenue, Derby, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import a Class B drug and were both jailed for seven years
Haulage boss Jeffrey Robson, 43, of Desford Green, Middlesbrough, who organised the gang’s transportation needs, was jailed for five years and nine months.
Trusted lieutenant Ian Henderson, 44, of Carrowmore Road, Chester le Street, was jailed for four years 11 months.
And courier David Stacey, 42, of Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, was jailed for three and a half years.