Beauty therapist and influencer nabbed with $1.87m worth of 'premium' cocaine in car boot gets 10-year jail term
Beauty therapist Stephanie Nelson's Instaworthy lifestyle came crashing after she was arrested with $1.87m (£1.5m) worth of high-grade "premium" cocaine in her car boot. Authorities caught the 30-year-old woman with the Class A drug on June 10 last month, while she was driving her Hyundai iX35 to a car parking in Kent.
Officers from the National Crime Agency on a stakeout said they saw her meet up with 53-year-old John Markham from Enfield. He was waiting for her at the Yeoman Pub in Bearsted on a white van. At the meeting, he handed Stephanie two black carryalls.
The owner of Porsche Cosmetics, Stephanie was served a sentence of 10 years in jail and was found with 15 kg of cocaine hidden in the "magnetized void" of her car. Her lifestyle had been enviable and jet setting and the Manchester Evening News reported that they had investigated her and found that she wasn't just affording all that with fillers and facials.
She was apprehended by the authorities at Dartford Tunnel but initially, they found no drugs. But, when they dug further, they found the cocaine stashed in a "sophisticated and magnetized purpose-built hide in the floor of the boot," the National Crime Agency (NCA) said. The location gave way when the engine was switched on and the glove compartment opened.
Markham was also arrested. Both pleaded guilty. The cocaine found was 83 percent pure and had "Premium 20/20" written on the packets.
Adam Warnock, NCA Commander, said, “Drug trafficking was Nelson’s passport to a high-rolling lifestyle – an expensive house in Cheshire and exotic holidays all over the world – but it was very high risk and now she is behind bars. We believe the drugs run we observed was her sixth one this year." He further added, "Our work does not stop here though as we will seek to confiscate assets belonging to Nelson and her criminal associate Markham to ensure they no longer benefit from their criminality. The investigation into the wider drug trafficking network is also ongoing."
Nelson is five months pregnant and has a child who is 7 years old. Her defense argued that she had been threatened to do it by her boyfriend. Judge Philip Statman, while passing the sentence, said there was "very little evidence of recent pressure or coercion" and that it was a "deliberate course of conduct for financial gain".