Restaurant boss caught with £3m of heroin

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A restaurant owner is facing a long prison sentence after he was convicted of drug offences following one of West Yorkshire’s biggest-ever heroin seizures.

Daniele Spinola, 53, who has two restaurants in Manchester, was stopped while driving an Audi on Ingleby Road, Bradford last May along with a Mercedes CLK convertible being driven by his friend Paul Wright.

Inside the boot of the Audi officers found five holdalls packed with around 60 kilograms of heroin (132lb), worth nearly £3m which could have been made almost 300,000 street deals.

Wright, 54, also from Manchester, admitted conspiracy to supply the Class A drug and Spinola, of Sevenoaks Avenue, Urmston, Manchester, was yesterday found guilty by a jury at Bradford Crown Court of the same offence.

Officers also recovered 32kg (70.5lb) of amphetamine, worth up to £656,000, which was being stored at one of Spinola’s restaurants.

Wright admitted conspiracy to possess the amphetamine with intent to supply, and Spinola was also convicted of that offence

Spinola claimed he was struggling financially and thought he was transporting stolen jewellery but Nicholas Worsley, prosecuting, told the jury of his high lifestyle. When police searched Spinola’s home they recovered documents relating to a finance agreement for a Bentley GT dated just five days before the drugs seizures.

Officers also found an original Rolex watch, and insurance documents relating to a £60,000 Ferrari Modena and a £16,000 Porsche Cayenne 4X4, each of which had personalised number plates.

Judge John Potter remanded Spinola in custody after the verdicts and told him to expect a significant and long prison sentence with Wright at a later date.

After the case Malcolm Taylor, special casework lawyer in the Yorkshire and Humberside Complex Casework Unit said the police seizure meant dangerous drugs were intercepted and not put on the streets in northern towns and cities.