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Man used Shropshire village home to make Class A drugs

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A Shropshire man who used his village home as a laboratory to produce Class A drugs for distribution in London has been jailed for more than three years.

A Shropshire man who used his village home as a laboratory to produce Class A drugs for distribution in London has been jailed for more than three years.

Max Maxwell, 39, of Church Row in Clungunford, near Craven Arms, ran a drugs factory to make substances such as crystal methamphetamine, a drug which police say is used in the capital's clubbing scene.

His operation was exposed when he was found by police asleep in his car on Hampstead Heath in London on April 25 in possession of 20 wraps of crystal meth, the court heard. Officers raided his home and discovered the laboratory, the court was told.

Maxwell was jailed for three years and four months at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday after admitting charges of producing 45 grammes of a controlled Class A drug and possessing Class A drugs with the intent to supply.

Chemicals

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Edwards, the head of Shropshire CID, was called as an expert witness to give evidence to the court hearing having previously trained in Holland and the USA on dismantling synthetic drugs.

The inquiry was led by Holborn Major Crime Unit while West Mercia Police officers carried out the raid on Maxwell's Shropshire home after he was arrested.

Police said chemicals and equipment seized by police at the Clungunford address have since been destroyed and the laboratory was dismantled while Maxwell was being interviewed.

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Mr Edwards said: "This drug is very popular with the clubbing scene. The sentence imposed by the court reflects the seriousness of the offence. It is rare to find this type of laboratory outside a city area but it illustrates, yet again, the need for the people of Shropshire to be vigilant and to report anything suspicious.

"Those setting up drug factories, especially cannabis growing units, sometimes choose a quiet rural location where they feel they are less likely to attract attention. But if strangers suddenly set up in farm buildings or old barns, with frequent coming and goings, do call the police on 0300 333 3000."

By Peter Kitchen

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