Cocaine with a potential street value of £100 million was seized by police when they smashed a nationwide drug distribution ring based in the West Midlands, a court was told yesterday.
An industrial unit was the base of the racket which led to the biggest ever seizure of the drug in the region.
At the heart of the network was Keith Jeremy, from Sutton Coldfield, who acted as the organiser and financier in Birmingham, the city's crown court heard.
Jeremy (43) of Whitehouse Common Road, has admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis.
Dean Letts (39) of Greenvale Avenue, Sheldon, Birmingham; Gavin Griffiths (28) and Lee Welsh (30) both of Habberley Road, Rowley Regis, Sandwell; Martin Askew (38) of no fixed address and John Pollard (34) from Nottingham, have all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Gary Hyland (34) from Liverpool has admitted conspiracy to supply amphetamine and cannabis while Robert Marchant (62) from Newport, south Wales and David Loone (44) of Cropthorne Road, Shirley, Solihull, have pleaded guilty to possessing drugs money.
The defendants are due to be sentenced by Judge Richard Griffiths-Jones today.
Tim Mousley QC, prosecuting, said: "These defendants were involved in the extremely large-scale commercial distribution of drugs in the West Midlands and beyond.''
He said the drugs involved were cocaine, herbal cannabis and amphetamine and that the "central distribution point" of the network was in Dudley although the operation involved supplying drugs to various parts of the country including Liverpool, Nottingham, south Wales and London.
He said Jeremy was "at the top of the tree" although there were other organisers above him.
Letts was Jeremy's right-hand man in Birmingham and was more closely involved in the delivering of drugs and collection of money, while Griffiths and Welsh ran the industrial unit, unpacking the drugs and dividing them up.
Askew stayed at various hotels in the city centre and ran a cafe which was used as a place for the conspirators to meet.
On February 23 a raid on the unit found cocaine and herbal cannabis along with 14,000 counterfeit £1 coins. On the same day officers on the M6 also stopped a van driven by Welsh who was heading towards London with 50kg of high purity cocaine.
Letts was also stopped and in a secret compartment in the van that he was driving police found 5kg of the same drug. Mr Mousley said the total amount of cocaine seized was 150kg and added: "If converted to street deals then the cash generated would be the thin end of £100 million.''
He said officers also went to Jeremy's home where they found him standing by the kitchen sink where there were the burned remains of some documents and mobile phones.
Mr Mousley said police also raided a property in Birmingham associated with Jeremy and Letts and found large amounts of cash.