An Eastbourne man involved in the supply of cocaine estimated to be worth millions of pounds has been jailed for 10.5 years.

Darren Shand, 45, of Selwyn Road, was stopped by police in Colchester, Essex in July 2023.

During a search of his Mercedes Vito van, officers found several individually wrapped packages inside two black holdalls. Suspecting these contained illegal drugs, officers arrested Shand on suspicion of possession with intent to supply.

A further, more detailed search revealed that the holdalls contained a total of 31kg of cocaine made of individual 1kg blocks, sealed in tape and plastic wrapping.

Following an investigation into Shand’s activities, officers identified that on another occasion in 2023 he had used the same van to deliver to an address in London.

The total value of cocaine recovered is estimated to be around £3.7million.

Shand was charged with being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession with intent to supply cocaine.

At Isleworth Crown Court on Wednesday 25 October, Shand was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison having pleaded guilty to all charges.

Detective Inspector Mark Rosser, of the Sussex Police Specialist Crime team, said: “Shand played a significant role in the supply of cocaine, travelling beyond Sussex to commit these offences.  It is the third time Shand has been convicted for drug supply and thanks to his lengthy prison sentence, his willingness to engage in criminal activity will be disrupted for several years to come.

“This sentence will also serve to disrupt the supply of cocaine within Sussex and further afield. We take the offence of the supply of illegal drugs very seriously and are committed to catching those involved; including those who feel they can travel beyond the scope and reach of Sussex Police.”