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2 1/2 years sentence for the importation of Class C controlled drugs

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Tuesday 29 April 2014

On Thursday 24 April 2014 Gordon Craig Chorlton, a 54 year old unemployed UK resident, appeared before the Guernsey Royal Court having pleaded guilty to the importation of 158 Buprenorphine (Subutex) and 5 Diazepam tablets. Chorlton was sentenced to 2 years 6 months for the importation of Buprenorphine (Subutex) and 14 days for the importation of Diazepam to run concurrently.

On Wednesday 18 December 2013, Chorlton arrived into Guernsey from Weymouth aboard the Condor Ferry and was stopped and subsequently searched in the Customs channels by Guernsey Border Agency Officers. During the search a total of 158 Buprenorphine (Subutex) and 5 Diazepam tablets were found concealed in clothing within his luggage.

In interview under caution, Chorlton admitted importing the drugs confirming that he knew that they were Class C controlled drugs and that he did not have a prescription for them. He also stated that he had hidden them in the clothing as he knew that it was illegal to import the tablets into Guernsey.

The total quantity of Buprenorphine and Diazepam in this case would have had an estimated local resale value of between £7,900 and £15,800. Chorlton's sentence is due to run from the date of his arrest.

On sentencing Judge Finch remarked that this was a classic importation where controlled drugs were brought to the Island for a substantial gain.

Rebecca Falla, a Senior Investigation Officer with the Guernsey Border Agency said:

'Both Buprenorphine and Diazepam are controlled drugs utilised in the treatment of drug dependence. When used for this purpose they are legitimately prescribed to the user and taken as part of a measured programme. However these drugs are also utilised as drugs of abuse and are sold on the black market to help bridge the gaps between availability of the users illegal drug of choice'.

Law Enforcement are always grateful of any assistance given by members of the public in identifying any persons involved with smuggling or supplying controlled drugs in the Bailiwick; information can be given by contacting the Confidential Drugline on 0800 318 318.

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