British man who ran drugs empire from Marbella jailed for 28 years

LAST UPDATED: 3 Oct, 2012 @ 07:59
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British man who ran drugs empire from Marbella jailed for 28 years

By James Bryce

A BRITISH man who plotted to smuggle €170 million of cocaine into the UK has been jailed for 28 years.

John Alan Brooks, 61, from Marbella, was found guilty of conspiracy to import cocaine after his boat – Dances with Waves – was intercepted 170 miles off the Irish coast while en route to Liverpool from the Caribbean, in 2008 .

The operation, headed by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), led to the arrest of three crew members who each received 10-year prison sentences in 2009 after pleading guilty to possession of the 1.5 tonne haul.

Brooks, originally from Blackpool, was arrested last year having previously been convicted for a string of drug offences and travelling under false passports.

“Brooks was the go-to man for organised crime groups as he was an expert in arranging the transportation of huge quantities of drugs,” said SOCA Regional Head of Investigations Matt Horne.

“His criminal career stretches back nearly 30 years, during which time he has travelled extensively using false identities and has been imprisoned on a number of occasions.

“He’s back in prison where he belongs and we’re going after his money.”

He added: “Not only have we kept a huge amount of cocaine out of the UK, we can be confident that a number of crime groups have also been denied profits which would otherwise have been reinvested in further criminal activity.”

14 COMMENTS

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  1. Prohibition does NOT work. Never has. Never will.

    Will we ever get a politician with a good education, who has read a book, or just watched a real documentary (bbc,discovery, not Alien Hunters on Cosmo). Its soooo much cheaper to deal with, and prevent, social problems, than to ban substances people discover they can abuse…

  2. Social problems will ALWAYS exist in human society no matter how great the resources allocated to them. People are born intrinsically unequal, exist economically unequal, live unequal lives, always will. The drug trade depends absolutely on these weakest members of society, who for whatever reason have little or no defence.
    It’s the duty of government to try to protect them from their weakness but efforts are often negated by the examples set by people well able to avoid the habit, using drugs for leisure purposes.
    Druggies will always defend their suppliers who should be hung, drawn and quartered for the vast damage they inflict on society in general.

  3. Antonio2. The “War on Drugs” (December 14, 1914 – present) cannot be won. You can’t declare war on your own citizens and expect to “win”. Putting the drugs industries most popular products in the hands of criminals will always make it unregulated, inefficient and dangerous. You may as well make it legal, then tax it and control it, because, as is perfectly obvious, prohibition does not work.
    And you may or may not have noticed that a VAST industry that consumes an astronomical amount of taxes has a vested interest in drowning out any other opinions as they continue to tell us they are “Winning the war on drugs”. Well why don’t they just hurry up and win then? The answer is; their salaries depend on maintaining the status quo.

  4. Some fun facts that the powers to be hide…
    In the UK the government collects 3 times the cost of the NHS (per year) from taxes… on cigarettes!
    So non-smokers should *encourage* smokers, as they pay for all the NHS for everyone!
    Portugal de-criminalized *all* drugs almost 2 years ago. Crime rates have dropped, drug consumption has dropped, organised (drug-related) crime has decreased, number of ‘druggies’ has dropped, the great flood of ‘drug-tourisum’ never happened…
    In the USA it would be cheaper for the government to send each and every citizan to a psychiatrist for a year, than to pay for their ‘war on drugs’

    Like everything else the government does – its to make money and dis-inform.

  5. Sure did stefanjo.
    Ben & BigJonMX, don’t quite see how de-criminalising drugs can help the classes of people I’m referring to. Surely freely available drugs will not help them?
    As for those who have pots of money and the ‘all-right-thankyou’ brigade who still find life a chore without drugs, may the weed be with them, they are an irrelevance. But their example helps to destroy countless lives.

  6. @antonio2: your comment reads as a reply to the first comment, and you imply the first commenter is a ‘druggie’. Not only was that insulting, but it also infers that you have a poor education.
    As all informed people know, the criminalisation of drug users has only fuelled organised crime.
    Dont just listen to your peers ranting about bringing back the death penalty, try reading about real studies in the real world. Just 5 minutes online and you can learn so much, if you willing to step out of your confort zone. And i mean, avoid tabloids and bring-back-hanging forums.
    @stefano: ‘stringing up’ the barons is always satisfying. Especially for those wanting promotion. But rather than completing the circle, why dont we actually do away with the barons job altogether? Of course it’ll take a minute or two of extra thinking, so how much effort is a ‘real’ solution?

  7. Antonio2 – “Ben & BigJonMX, don’t quite see how de-criminalising drugs can help the classes of people I’m referring to. Surely freely available drugs will not help them?”

    Free drugs? Isn’t the idea to legalize, regulate and sell them, in order to stop illegal drug gangs from profiting and committing violence in the illegal trade?

    You ban it and you create a black market as long as there is sufficient demand. It’s just economics.

    Antonio2 – “It’s the duty of government to try to protect them from their weakness.”

    Actually it isn’t – it is the duty of the government to protect individual liberty above all. However, it can help to protect individuals from their weaknesses. How about with therapy and rehabilitation rather than punishment and retribution?

    Or if we’re going to have a draconian government that protects the people from themselves, we need to start criminalizing other things. Obesity. Make exercise mandatory. Outlaw unhealthy foods. Ban alcohol. Cigarettes. Perhaps mandate that people only go outside wearing padded foam suits in case they bump into something. After all. Think of the people that need protection from themselves. The families destroyed.

    Think of the children!

  8. David M/Ben
    good posts – unfortunately there are too many like Antonio2 who believe all the crap spewed out by ‘vested interests’.

    Vested interests being the legalised drug industries of alcohol and nicotine. As a point of interest it is nicotine based insecticides that are wiping out the crucially important honey bees – no bees, no pollination = no food.

    The other vested interest being the religious freaks, I’m talking about the so called American Christians/Falangists.

    Antonio2 your talking out of the wrong oriface – many,many rich women in Victorian times were opium junkies – laudinum.
    In late Victorian England actors actually wacked up/injected cocaine on stage (did you miss these points of fact). Take a look at photos from the Art Deco period and you will see lovely siver phials hanging from the waist of rich women from all over Europe and the USA – these phials contained cocaine and many rich women had the septums in their noses completely eaten away by cocaine addiction.

    Cocaine has been the drug of choice in the City from the late 60’s.

    None of this bothered the elites until those awful lumpen proles had the audacity to copy their ‘betters’. Of course druggies are’nt very productive which was’nt good for profits, hence the need to teach them a lesson and put them in prison where they duly created more junkies with heroin smuggled in with the help of bent prison officers.

    On punishement I can’t agree with DavidM or Ben because I have seen close up what horse/smack/heroin and cocaine addiction leads to. I saw Europe’s young turning into junkies when I worked in the Netherlands in 79/80 and when the work folded up they all returned to their homelands and took their addictions with them, the males becoming pushers and the females prositutes.

    Why do the police forces of Europe not arrest the big heroin dealers – simple – great big backhanders to look the other way – it is only the pushers who get caught and which are replaceable within the hour.

    Heiniken is a very powerful alcohol company today because from the 60s’ they were forced to develop markets abroad because the young Dutch saw alcohol as a nasty addictive downer and drank Chocomel and Orange Julias instead.

    Antonio2 what should a responsible society do with vermin on the boards of directors of brewers who created alcopops to get young Brits junked on alcohol – these are the scum who should be hung drawn and quartered along with the legions of bent coppers and customs who get rich and retire to Spain on their ill gotten gains.

    Once a junkie always a junkie and they are costing Europe’s tax payers a lot of money that could much better be spent on the very young and the very old. This is where I can’t agre with with David and Ben – a junkie is like a cancer cell – they will only create more junkies whether they pay or get their smack for free, better to round them up and process them into useful material.

    A junkie has only one programme running in their head – get smack. Junkies on Methadone will and do sell it to buy smack.

    When the paedaphile Mao finally kicked out the Nationalists in China he found that they and the Japanese had left an opium problem in Manchuria – over 200,000 opium addicts. He said what can we do to help them – nothing was the truthful answer. Eventually he realised that this was the case and the junkies were exterminated.

    Until the liberalisation of the State Capitalist system there was no drug problem in China – take a look today.

    I’m sick and tied of hearing opinions from those who have no actual experience of what hard drugs can do. I saw many who had good jobs, not no hopers from the sink estates ruin their lives and indeed die.

    I’m also sick and tired of these same idiots talking about marijuana and hash being ‘gateway drugs’ – complete b/s. This is the propoganda doled out daily by the legal drug barons – why do you hear in all countries the expression ‘drink and drugs’ – alcohol is a supressive narcotic and nicotine gets you junked in a week whereas Smack needs to be used for about 3 months before addiction really kicks in.

    When the smack invasion by the Turkish mafia/the Grey Wolves first hit the UK in 1979 it was the heavy drinkers who first became addicts, because alcohol is a suppressive narcotic just like smack/heroin.

    As Ben points out accurately there is a vast army of parasitic filth that lives very well on the ‘fight against drugs’. After eliminating with reluctance the hard drug addicts I would eliminate this parasitic filth with pleasure. This would free up an enormous amount of money to be spent on projects that would benefit the ordinary people.

    Never forget that the City of London is the world’s clearing house for the drug cartels.

    BTW – the coca leaf has many important and useful health benefits which big pharma does’nt want you to know about. Also never forget that it was the white man who took one of the 13 alkaloids found in the coca leaf to make cocaine and it was the white man that purified opium to make first morphine and then heroin.

    Antonio2 what would you do with the CIA who denied more money by Congress for their evil campaign of murder in Vietnam opened up in an industrial way the flow of heroin from the Golden Triangle – ask the Australian people who took so many South Vietnamese in after the fall of Saigon and flooded Oz with heroin – hang draw and quarter them?

    If you really want to know the truth about all the narcotics, there is this thing called – the internet but it will mean deprogramming yourself of all the lies and propoganda fed to you on a daily basis by those who profit directly and indirectly from the hard drugs.

  9. David M – Of course no insult was intended to anyone by my remarks, but yes you are correct I am probably poorly educated.
    But I’m not daft enough to believe that you can regulate the habits of a drug addict, or that de-criminalising will eliminate their addiction, or prevent new recruits being infected with addiction. Which is what it is supposed to achieve??
    How would the price of drugs from state-run vendors be determined, if de-criminalised? Drug-gangs would simply supply more for the same money. They would never just stop operations because drugs could be obtained legally. And where would the state get its supply of drugs? – in the end it would surely be from the gangs, as they control the supply and no amount of action by governments so far has yet succeeded in breaking the trade. You have to break the habit, as the South Americans cry – PLEASE (USA) stop your demand for drugs somehow.
    Reality – With my limited grasp of English I understand that ‘freely available’ does not mean ‘free’ and actually, governments ARE there to protect the weak, among other duties, that’s why we have a health service, social benefits, drug-rehab, etc., etc. Without governments the weak would be at the mercy of the strong.
    Perhaps the only way to break the gangs would be to offer free drugs – simple supply and demand – but surely we are supposed to be trying to prevent addiction and its evils?
    St. Crawford, I’m in no doubt as to which orifice through which your words drop, with some of your comments. Either that or your grasp of English is worse than my own.
    My whole premise is simple – protect the weak from themselves when it comes to drug addiction, not with prison, that’s for the pushers and suppliers. The rich druggies? they’re all right, they have the money to kill or cure themselves.

  10. David M: Antonio2: Sorry you didn’t spot it, but I was actually being sarcastic. The aim was to point up the hypocrisy surrounding legal and illegal drugs. The smack situation in the U.K. was created by the government of the day. When the power for doctors to write scrips for smack was taken away and the green monster methadone was substituted, almost overnight the “brown” and “China white” appeared. It was an absolute gift to the various mafias, who have taken full advantage ever since. Prohibition simply does not work. This has been proven over and over again. There will always be a demand for consciousness altering substances. Take M.D.M.A. Ecstasy, it was made a class “A” drug, following which it was abused,cut and messed about with by the criminals waiting in the wings. So, “legal highs” were introduced, one after another. None of which did the job or were any safer. The only answer is control and management of psycho-active substances, ensuring quality, strength, purity and, yes, price. Adults, responsible or not, deserve to make informed choices about what they put in their bodies.You are correct about Portugal BigJonMX, seems to be the only country in Europe with any brains.

  11. Antonio2 – “But I’m not daft enough to believe that you can regulate the habits of a drug addict, or that de-criminalising will eliminate their addiction, or prevent new recruits being infected with addiction. Which is what it is supposed to achieve??”

    I don’t think that is the main argument. De-criminalizing doesn’t make addiction disappear – people are going to do drugs regardless of the consequences (hard drugs are still available – and common – in Singapore despite the death penalty). What decriminalization does is divert resources from punishment to rehabilitation. This means that drug users – instead of spending time in jail, paying fines and making their issues worse – get a chance to get better.

    It also means the money can be used to take out the big suppliers, the actual drug gangs, producers and importers. Addition is supposed to be a medical illness – it needs medical treatment. Drug dealing, on the other hand, you can still fight and treat as a crime.

    Antonio2 – “How would the price of drugs from state-run vendors be determined, if de-criminalised? Drug-gangs would simply supply more for the same money.”

    Just economics – the same way price in anything is determined. If you can supply more, higher quality, etc. for a lesser price then you can win the market share. If drug gangs focused on that – and did so within state regulation – they wouldn’t even be “drug gangs” anymore. They would be legitimate corporations. No need for violence. They could handle it all in the courtroom.

    However, it is unlikely that any drug gang would have the resources necessary to compete should some drug be legalized and produced by a state run, or privately owned, business. Just starting out they would already have the capital, the resources, the political backing, legal distribution, etc. all taken care of. Basically, to refer to an American store, you’d have a Drug-Mart pop up overnight that foreign drug gangs, smugglers, and the whole illegal black market just couldn’t compete with.

    The only issue would be if the drugs were taxed too highly; then, like with cigarettes, you might still see a black market for drugs. But, for the most part, the legalization of alcohol got rid of alcohol-related organized crime and the legalization of cigarettes – despite high taxes – keeps the illegal black market for cigarettes low (compared to illegal drugs, anyway).

    Antonio2 – “You have to break the habit, as the South Americans cry – PLEASE (USA) stop your demand for drugs somehow.”

    Impossible, unfortunately. I’m not a drug user – but most people are. Most use some drug, of some type. Legal or illegal. They have since the beginning of history. The best that can be accomplished is education, reducing usage, and regulation (so that both drug use and production/distribution are as safe as possible). But getting rid of the demand of drugs is like saying “people need to stop wanting sex, because there are too many prostitutes.” It’s just never going to happen.

    Antonio2 – “Governments ARE there to protect the weak”

    I agree – but not to protect the weak from themselves. To protect the weak from those that would exploit them – be it individuals, criminal groups, corporations, abuses of the system, etc. We don’t want to give up our liberties for safety. That is what is happening in the USA and the UK right now. Countries that used to be seen as the “freest” places on the Earth are now police states, with no liberty, no privacy, strictly enforced regulation of every type of undesirable behavior, sprawling prison populations, etc.

    If it were the government’s job to protect the weak from themselves – the very first thing to do would be to focus on obesity. Obesity, in the Western world, is the direct cause of more deaths (and thus more medical/taxpayer expense) than any other cause. It overshadows drug issues a hundred fold. You’d have to ban certain foods, institute mandatory exercise, enforce diets, etc. Very 1984. But people have a right to live badly if they wish – even if it hurts society in an indirect way. A person becoming fat, then using NHS for help, is no different than a drug addict using NHS for help. Yet, the cost on society, productivity, the economy, etc. for the obvious, obesity, is so much larger than the drug issue.

    So, if we’re going to ban things lets focus on the worst things first. Don’t ban drugs. Ban being fat. When the “War On Fat” is complete then perhaps switch it back to the “War On Drugs.”

  12. More stupid comments – there is no re-habilitation for a junkie whether they are alcohol or smackheads, as Ben said their are legions of parasites feeding off the junkies.

    Antonio2 – you want to go back to earlier times when as I have said the rich were taking opium, then heroin and cocaine quite openly. I am old enough to have seen the explosion of hard drugs across the whole of Europe. It would have been easy to crush the hard drug dealers and suppliers – so why did’nt the police forces of Europe take action early on – lots of money coming their way – why would they want to stop that?

    Stefanjo – great post.Why was there always a great deal of energy expended by the authorities against pyscho-active substances, your use of the word ‘substance’rather than drugs is intelligent and informed.

    All civilisations have used pyscho-active substances, so where does this anti attitude come from – the Catholic church, It was this fascist organisation that sought to control all aspects of society. ‘Witches’so named by the Catholic mafia were mainly women who retained some of the Celtic knowledge of plants both pyschotropic and beneficial to health.

    Authority does’nt want people to start thinking for themselves or seeing through the whole charade of ‘democracy’ or they may decide that those same authorities are excess to requirements that is what terrifies these bloodsuckers.

    Why were the Viking savages so effective in battle – well the Norse/Rus and Dan Vikings used to imbibe of a special drink made of beer and magic mushrooms which turned them into fanatical pyschos, unless they received a mortal blow they kept on fighting – very hard to counter this.

    BTW – alcohol directly and indirectly causes more misery/rape/murder/violence in the home and of course carnage on the roads than all other narcotics put together and then some. I say this as someone who really enjoys drinking wine.

    Does prohibition work – only if you deal with the reasons for all these addictions and if the general population see that there is one law for all and only if the main players, corrupt police and customs are terminated with extreme brutality in public – it’s called conditional therapy and it works – not pretty but effective.

    If the ordinary people knew the total price they have to pay through taxes for ‘the war against drugs’ they may find the balls to actually do something about it.

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