North Eastern coach operator was front for drug running

The owners of a north east coach firm, that was used as a front to import class A drugs, have been jailed.

A coach operated by G&G Travel of Hetton-le-Hole returning from Belgium was stopped at Dover in December 2011, and 11.9kg high-purity heroin worth 3m was found hidden in 12 parcels in an adapted wheel arch.

.

Gary Wheatley, 51, who had been persuaded to drive the coach for his brother, was arrested at the scene, but Glen Wheatley, 45, went on the run in Holland.

He was caught in July 2012 after robbing a parking attendant, then driving the wrong way on a motorway in Amsterdam as police chased him.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that he was jailed in Holland for dangerous driving and extradited to the UK last year to face the drugs charges.

Glen Wheatley was jailed for 12.5 years after admitting conspiracy to import drugs, while Gary Wheatley was jailed for six years.

Gary Wheatley, trading as G&G Travel, surrendered his O-Licence in May 2013.