Experienced drugs lord Karl Pettitt faces another stretch behind bars after he was jailed today (Friday) for his role as top of a pyramid in which cocaine was imported into the UK from Colombia and flooded onto the streets of East Yorkshire.
Two other males, 20-year-old Jordan Marsh and an 18-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, were also jailed for their parts in facilitating the 51-year-old's criminality after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply and supplying class A drugs respectively.
Pettitt, ran the Vanguard Antiques shop on Beverley's historic North Bar Within, and appeared to many as a successful businessman who wore expensive designer clothes.
But jailing Pettitt, a judge described how the antiques business was in fact barely profitable and used as a facade for his drugs business which fed off people's habits and debt.
Pettitt pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession with intent to supply class A drugs but was convicted following a trial at Hull Crown Court.
The court heard how Pettitt's offending dated back to 1996 and that he was currently on licence from a 15-year sentence imposed in 2007 when he set up shop in Beverley. The conspiracy with Marsh, the court heard, resulted in 100kg of cocaine with a street value of £3.8m being sold to others.
Their offending was stopped in its infancy in April 2019 when police intercepted, following concerns raised about how Pettitt was funding his lavish lifestyle.
Jailing Pettitt, His Honour Judge Thackray QC said the drugs business "would no doubt hep explain your extravagant lifestyle", adding how his Vanguard business partner had "described the antiques business as doing very little" and that he had been "reluctant to sell the stock, much to his frustration".
"You obviously had your priorities and interests elsewhere. The drugs business was going to be far more profitable than the antiques business, and it was the former rather than the latter that motivated you.
"I have no doubt that the business in Beverley was a sham, and used by you to provide cover for your intended criminality."
Judge Thackray QC added: "You have followed a path that has led you from being a schoolboy involved, as you told the jury, to dealing with drug cartels in the jungles of Colombia, then to the market town of Beverley, where you assumed you could discreetly operate under the radar."
Marsh was also jailed for five years after pleading guilty to dealing cocaine over the five month period he was involved with Pettitt.
The Judge told him: "You were motivated by financial advantage, namely the funding of your own habits and your plans to use the profits to purchase motorbikes."
Turning to the 18-year-old, who received an 18-month detention order after pleading guilty to dealing cocaine over a two-month period, the judge said: "I have no doubt you were influenced by others older than yourself, and that as a young person you have the ability to change and rehabilitate yourself.
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