A mechanic who created secret drug compartments in vehicles for an organised crime group has been jailed for six years.

Michael Webb, from Colney Heath, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, April 12, after he had aided the activities of a drugs network in Watford.

The 49-year-old had been arrested in October 2020 after an investigation discovered that he had been running a "back-street" garage.

He used his skills as a mechanic to make elaborate concealments in vehicles, designed to be used by criminals to move drugs and cash around undetected by police.

During his court case, Webb admitted to making concealments in 15 vehicles, enabling the crime group to move criminal items undetected, until police discovered evidence of a conspiracy to supply significant amounts of cocaine.

Herts Advertiser: A custody image of Michael Webb, from Colney Heath.A custody image of Michael Webb, from Colney Heath. (Image: Hertfordshire Constabulary)

Webb was sentenced to six years for participating in the activities of an organised crime group and three years for being concerned in the supply of cocaine, to run concurrently.

Detective Inspector Grant Finnie said: "This is the latest member of the organised crime group (OGC) we investigated as part of operation distant, who were running a drug supply network in the Watford area.

"We have successfully dismantled the OCG which was causing so much misery and criminality in that part of the county, jailing more than 21 members, who are now serving a combined 174 years in prison.

“This will send a message to anyone involved not only in drug dealing but also anyone creating the infrastructure that facilitates it, that Hertfordshire is a hostile environment for organised crime groups and they will be pursued relentlessly.

"This conviction for participation in the activities of an organised crime group by making vehicle concealments is the first of its kind in Hertfordshire and no other examples have yet been found across the UK.

“Organised crime groups use violence, supply drugs and commit a whole range of crimes that pose a real threat to the community.

"Operation relentless is Hertfordshire Constabulary’s response to this on-going threat.

"As part of this work, we depend on information from members of the public to help us crack down on drug-related crime.

"Any information you can provide, no matter how small it may seem, could help us to identify and apprehend drug dealers."