A FUGITIVE leader of a drug-smuggling gang, which included a Cornish granny who hid heroin in her pasties, has been arrested in Spain.
Stephen Blundell, originally from Liverpool, fled to Spain after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin in April 2013, before he could be sentenced.
The 36-year-old is now being held on a European Arrest Warrant, after handing himself into authorities in Tenerife.
Blundell – one of the UK’s National Crime Agency’s prime targets – was handed a jail sentence of nine years and eight months in his absence.
Other members of his gang – which included a grandmother who hid €65,000 worth of heroin under pasties in her shopping bag – received a total of 77 years.
Blundell will appear before the Spanish national court in Madrid, to begin proceedings for his extradition back to the UK.
Detective Constable Jason Braund, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “We will continue to hunt down those that abscond from justice whether they be here or overseas.”
Hank Cole, head of international operations for the NCA, said: “Blundell would have been constantly looking over his shoulder after his mugshot appeared across Spain as part of the Captura ‘unlucky 13’ campaign.
“Spain is not a safe haven. 64 fugitives have been caught since Captura was launched.”
Blundell is the 64th fugitive to be caught out of 76 publicised through Operation Captura, a multi-agency initiative between Crimestoppers, the National Crime Agency and the Spanish authorities.
He was also featured in the ‘unlucky 13’ campaign launched in November 2013.