26 January 2017
A man who helped a drug smuggler evade justice has been sentenced to six years in prison following an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
David Toal, 45, used his house in London Colney, Hertfordshire, to shelter drug smuggler Anthony Dennis until a surveillance operation by NCA officers tracked him down.
Dennis, who is believed to have spent much of his two years on the run in Spain, was handed a sentence of 13 years and four months in 2015 for plotting to import up to three tonnes of cocaine into Europe.
He and Anthony Wilson, who was sentenced to 12 years, conspired to source cocaine from South America and arrange for it to be shipped in containers carrying legitimate cargo.
They had planned the job from a café in the Netherlands used as a global operations centre for international drugs traffickers.
NCA officers followed Toal as he made multiple trips to pick up Dennis’s wife to ferry her to his house.
They arrested Dennis in August 2015 on a green near Toal’s house after spotting him leaving Toal’s house.
Toal, who had travelled to Alicante, Spain, was arrested on 18 August 2015 on arriving at the outbound passenger controls of the Eurotunnel Coquelles terminal.
When interviewed he denied helping Dennis in the face of damning surveillance and telecommunications evidence.
He was sentenced to six years in jail at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.
Simon Gower, operation manager at the NCA, said: “Anthony Dennis and his associate Anthony Wilson are dangerous men who intended to bring a huge amount of cocaine into Europe, setting off a chain reaction of crime and exploitation.
“Toal tried to stop Dennis getting the long jail sentence he was owed. It wasn’t a display of loyalty, it was pure criminality. The patience and persistence of our officers ensured that the attempt failed and Toal has got the punishment he deserved.”