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Three American drug smugglers tried to bring £1.7m of cannabis into UK in their baggage

Barrington Walters, Mandy Silowka, and Kiara Malone.  See SWNS story SWMRcannabis. Three more Americans convicted in the UK for smuggling cannabis on LA-London flights. Two more US nationals have been arrested after allegedly trying to smuggle cannabis with a street value of more than £5.5 million in suitcases from Los Angeles into the UK. Earlier this week nine suspects were stopped at the border and accused of trying to sneak millions of pounds worth of marijuana into Britain. They were stopped at the border with between 30 and 40 kilos each, vacuum packed in their luggage on over 10-hour flights from LAX to Heathrow Airport, police said.
From left to right: Barrington Walters, Mandy Silowka and Kiara Lanee Malone, have been convicted of importing class B drugs into the UK. (SWNS)

Three Americans tried to smuggle more than £1.7m of cannabis into Britain in their luggage.

The trio flew from Los Angeles to Heathrow Airport with the drugs last month, Isleworth Crown Court heard last week.

Barrington Walters, 24, from Los Angeles, California, and Mandy Silowka, 34, from Princeton, New Jersey, were caught with a total of almost 60kg of marijuana after landing at Heathrow from LAX on the same United Airlines flight on 17 January.

Border Force officers found 33kg of herbal cannabis in bags belonging to Walters and another 26.5kg in suitcases checked in by Silowka when they landed in the UK.

An investigation has begun after a series of drug seizures were made from passengers flying into Heathrow Airport from Los Angeles in the United States.  See SWNS story SWMRcannabis.  Nine different people, all US nationals, have been arrested and charged in the last week, each found to have between 30 and 50 kilos of cannabis in checked in baggage.  The first passenger arrived on Tuesday 10 January and Border Force officers seized around 30 kilos in suitcases.  A second seizure was made on Friday, followed by two on Saturday, four on Sunday and a further one yesterday (Monday 16 January).  In total more than 340 kilos of herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of more than £5.5 million has now been seized.  All nine of the American citizens have been charged with attempting to import class B drugs and have been remanded in custody pending court appearances.
There have been a number of recent arrests following drugs seizures from passengers travelling from the US to the UK. (SWNS)

Another US national, Kiara Lanee Malone, 31, from St Louis, Missouri, was arrested after arriving at Heathrow from Los Angeles on 10 January, when 27.5kg of cannabis was found in her luggage.

National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators estimate the total amount of all the cannabis found in their luggage had a combined street value of more than £1.7m.

All three were found guilty of importing class B drugs.

Walter was jailed for 10 months and Silowka for a year after they were sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court last Thursday. Both had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

Two more US nationals have been arrested after allegedly trying to smuggle cannabis with a street value of more than £5.5 million in suitcases from Los Angeles into the UK. Earlier this week nine suspects were stopped at the border and accused of trying to sneak millions of pounds worth of marijuana into Britain. See SWNS story SWMRsmuggle. They were stopped at the border with between 30 and 40 kilos each, vacuum packed in their luggage on over 10-hour flights from LAX to Heathrow Airport, police said. Two more US nationals were arrested at Heathrow yesterday (Tues), with what is thought to be around 60 kilos of hash.
The three US nationals were convicted of drug smuggling following seizures of cannabis at Heathrow Airport. (SWNS)

On Friday, Malone pleaded guilty at the same court and was remanded in custody to be sentenced on 5 April.

She claimed she travelled to the UK to have cosmetic procedures and said she was given the bags by someone else and believed they only had clothes inside.

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The convictions follow a string of recent arrests involving seizures made from flights from the US. Cannabis grown legally in parts of the US can attract a much higher price in the UK when sold to criminal gangs.

Andy Noyes, NCA Heathrow branch commander, said: "These cases serve as further warnings to those who think they can get away with smuggling drugs into the UK.

"No matter what you might get told by those organising these trips, you will get caught, and as these individuals will tell you, you will face jail time."

Two more US nationals have been arrested after allegedly trying to smuggle cannabis with a street value of more than £5.5 million in suitcases from Los Angeles into the UK. Earlier this week nine suspects were stopped at the border and accused of trying to sneak millions of pounds worth of marijuana into Britain. See SWNS story SWMRsmuggle. They were stopped at the border with between 30 and 40 kilos each, vacuum packed in their luggage on over 10-hour flights from LAX to Heathrow Airport, police said. Two more US nationals were arrested at Heathrow yesterday (Tues), with what is thought to be around 60 kilos of hash.
Just one of the recent drugs seizures from smugglers travelling into the UK from the US. (SWNS)

Another US national, Isabella Carrasco, 20, was arrested on Wednesday following a large cannabis seizure at Edinburgh Airport after she arrived on a flight from Los Angeles, via London.

Carrasco has been charged and will appear before Edinburgh Sheriff Court next week.

Her case is being investigated by the Organised Crime Partnership in Scotland, a joint team of NCA and Police Scotland officers.