Gary Vickery: Fugitive drugs kingpin extradited from Canary Islands to UK to be sentenced
Gary Vickery, originally from Dublin, was escorted on a flight from Lanzarote by NCA officers on Thursday, having been arrested by Spanish police on 20 October.
The NCA said that the 38-year-old had previously admitted to playing a leading role in conspiring to import class A and B drugs and money laundering, but he failed to attend a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court in July.
He is due to appear before the court on Friday, before appearing alongside his two co-defendants at a hearing on 3 December.
Vickery was involved in large scale drug shipments worth over £23m at UK street value with two other men, 53-year-old Thomas Kavanagh, from Tamworth, and 42-year-old Daniel Canning, originally from Dublin, according to the NCA.
The co-accused are both in custody awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiring to import class A and B drugs and money laundering, with Canning also having pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm and ammunition.
Ireland’s Sunday World newspaper reported in October that Vickery had boasted to friends that he expected to remain free for months before his arrest a few weeks ago.
A source for the paper claimed that he believed UK authorities would not be able to easily get an extradition warrant for him.
“Vickery was given ample opportunity to return to the UK following his guilty plea, but has failed to come back on every occasion,” NCA deputy director Matt Horne said last month.
“We will ensure those who cause harm to the UK though organised crime are held accountable, and this case highlights our tenacity.”