West Yorkshire: Pizza lorry was carrying £800,000 load of “skunk” cannabis

Martin Fernandez-Costello.
Martin Fernandez-Costello.
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A FATHER and son were caught unloading more than £800,000 worth of cannabis from a lorry full of pizzas at a West Yorkshire service station.

When police searched the home of Martin Fernandez-Costello, 51, and Joshua Lowe, 19, they found a semi-automatic pistol and ammunition in a safe hidden in a bedroom.

Officers also discovered £37,400 worth of a class C drug, described in court as an ecstasy substitute.

Fernandez-Costello was jailed for nine years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis, possession of a class C drug with intent to supply, possession of a semi-automatic pistol and possession of ammunition. Lowe was jailed for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis.

Mark McKone, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court police saw a HGV parked at Ferrybridge Services with its rear doors open at 10.20pm on September 7 last year. The German driver was seen passing three boxes to Lowe and Fernando-Costello, both of Oakwood, Bradford, who were loading them into a van.

The lorry was carrying a cargo of pizzas from Germany and was on route to Boroughbridge but had stopped in Holland to collect the boxes. The court heard the boxes contained skunk cannabis with an estimated street value of £859,000.

Robin Freize, for Fernandez-Costello, said he was a hard-working family man but had lost his job as a joiner after a slump in the building trade.

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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