On the left of the photograph is 52 year old Evaldas Stanionis of Cinque Ports Street and on the right is 49 year old Lithuanian Arunas Zemaitis who were both sentenced last Wednesday at Maidstone Crown Court for their part in an organised crime group which plotted to supply cocaine in Kent. The successful prosecution of each offender came following a specialist policing operation carried out by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
On 27 November 2020, officers working on the case observed Stanionis leaving his home address to travel to Clacket Lane services, once there, he stopped his Volvo in the car park and stood outside his vehicle.
Officers then witnessed Zemaitis approaching the Volvo whilst carrying a backpack, before he sat in a rear passenger seat as Stanionis kept watch before leaving the vehicle and each offender then went their separate ways. Their offending came to an end after Kent Police officers observed them handing over three kilos of cocaine, with an estimated street value of up to £480,000, at an M25 service station.
Stanionis was followed back to Chatham and was approached by plain clothes officers after he stopped in a car park in New Cut. Officers discovered a bag which Zemaitis had left in the back. It contained three food boxes, each one was found to contain a block of cocaine, each weighing a kilogram. Three mobile phones were also seized and quantities of amphetamine and cannabis were found at his home in Rye. The amphetamine having an estimated street value of around £8,500.
Zemaitis, a lorry driver for a firm based in Lithuania, was observed returning to a lorry park at the same service station and checks on his vehicle showed he had arrived in Dover, via Dunkerque, several hours earlier.
Activity on Stanionis’ phone showed the pair had regularly been in contact to discuss the transportation of drugs, enough evidence to arrest Zemaitis as he attempted to board a ferry in Dover.
Stanionis admitted four counts related to the supply of cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine and was sentenced to seven and a half years, whilst Zemaitis admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine and was sentenced to six years.
A senior investigating officer for the case, Detective Inspector Emma Lawry, said: “These two men were part of a sophisticated and well organised crime group that plotted to supply class A substances in our county.
“Despite their sophisticated pattern of offending, our serious crime detectives were able to unravel their schemes to make money and put together a comprehensive set of evidence which left no one in any doubt of their guilt.
“The drugs seized will now be destroyed, which is a fantastic result for our communities. These substances would have made their way onto our streets and, once sold, would have provided a lucrative return for the offenders. Instead, an organised group of offenders have taken a considerable financial hit.”
Image Credits: Kent Police .