You never know what’s going past you on the M1! Driver had £5m worth of cocaine in the back of his van

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A man who was caught driving down the M1 in possession of cocaine with a street value of over five million pounds in the back of his van has today (Friday) been jailed for 16 years.

Malcolm O’Halloran, 61, of Aucliffe Road, Borehamwood, was stopped by two officers on Thursday 19 January, as he was driving southbound along the motorway through Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

The officers, who pulled over the van based on intelligence it may contain drugs, found 50 kilogrammes of cocaine stashed in a holdall.

O’Halloran was immediately arrested and an investigation was carried out by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

During a search of O’Halloran’s house, three Russian guns, ammunition, and £57,000 of cash was seized.

O’Halloran pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply, one count of possessing criminal property, three counts of possessing a prohibited firearm, and one count of possessing illegal ammunition.

He will now spend the next 16 years behind bars after being sentenced at St Alban’s Crown Court.

ERSOU Detective Chief Inspector Chris Balmer said: “Fifty kilograms of cocaine equates to an untold amount of misery and degradation on the streets of the eastern region, and the guns and cash found at his house demonstrate both the money involved with the drugs trade and the dangerous undercurrent of violence that comes with it.

“Drugs are a scourge on our society and the sentencing of O’Halloran will reduce the flow of drugs into the area. I hope this will be a comfort to the families whose lives are blighted by addiction to hard drugs. It is also great news that we have taken three dangerous weapons off the streets, which cannot now be used to spread fear and harm in our communities.

“We’re pleased that this dangerous criminal will be forced to spend a long time locked up and I hope this sentence acts as a stark reminder to people involved in serious and organised crime: you are not welcome in our region – you will be found, you will be dealt with, and you will be prosecuted.”