Yet another Liverpool drug smuggler and his team have been taken down and shipped off to jail. This time it was the National Crime Agency that had Stanton under close surveillance and foiled his attempt to distribute £71 million worth of cocaine. They discovered the haul stored in a container at Tilbury Docks in London, hidden amongst beef from Argentina. Craftily, they replaced the haul, stashed in 16 bags, with bricks. The container was then hoisted onto a lorry and driven all the way up north, to Wigan. The NCA watched as an associate removed two bags then discarded them as he realised the contents were not drugs.
Stanton and his associates had a meeting at Aintree Retail Park, where it was expressed that extreme physical and sexual violence was to be meted out to anybody who might know anything. This was covertly watched by NCA officers. Stanton, 43, was later arrested in Rotterdam, in Holland, and extradited back to the UK. At Liverpool Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import narcotics and received 12 years. His associates, Tony Short, 40, from Lancashire, received 22 years, the heaviest sentence. James Mossman, 38, from Liverpool received 7 years 4 months. Gary keating, from Stockbridge Village, received 8 years. Finally,Francis Oakford was jailed for 4 years 9 months for conspiracy to blackmail.
The list of Merseyside "Mr Bigs" involved in drugs, that have gone down, include Warren, Haase, Hibbs-Turner, and now Stanton. It has taken a very long time but my opinion is that during the 60`s & 70`s, and even into the 80`s, the drug problem was never truly taken seriously by the Home Office or the Police hierarchy. Certainly since the 90`s they have done.