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Bishop says he is ‘mortified' after drugs gang used church for cannabis dealing

The gang were jailed for importing £2 million worth of drugs in 2017

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

A Bishop has said he was left “mortified” after a drugs gang used his church as a front for drug dealing.

Bishop Paul Black of Birmingham Pentecostal church in England has said that the gang forced him to close the church as well as the charity Vision Christian Ministries (VCM).

“I am mortified,” he said. “I don’t know them personally. They came to my wife and offered to supply items,” reports Birmingham Live.

“They destroyed the integrity of our work, but we have to be like the phoenix rising from the ashes.”

Bishop Black says he forgives the gang and hopes they will see the error of their ways.

“My health has suffered and I have diabetes. But as a Christian, I have to forgive them and hope and pray they will view this as a mistake and see what they have done,” he continued.

“Throughout, the police have been convivial and respectful of myself and my office. I am glad of that.”

It comes as gang members Dalton Anderson, Alvin Russell and Sinclair Ory Tucker approached VCM and offered to donate food, brought over from Jamaica, to the church for those in need.

Cannabis seized

The bishop said that the trio were initially thought of as Good Samaritans, but after their shipment of calaloo and akee fruit was intercepted at Birmingham Airport, £2 million worth of cannabis was found among the cargo.

The shipment was addressed to the VCM’s base in Handsworth.

Dalton Anderson (50) was convicted of conspiracy to import class B drugs and possession with intent to supply at Birmingham Crown Court last week.

Sinclair Ory Tucker (64) and Alvin Russell (45) were found guilty of conspiring to import class B drugs.

The trio trafficked 400 kilos of cannabis between March and May, 2017.

They were arrested at Birmingham Airport on May 23 2017 while inspecting the third consignment.

Five kilos of cannabis was also found at Anderson’s home during a follow up search.

“Anderson, Tucker and Russell cynically used a Christian ministry as a smokescreen to import huge quantities of cannabis into the UK,” NCA operations manager Rick Mackenzie said.

“They wrongly believed that this would put them beyond the reach of the National Crime Agency and our law enforcement partners.”

“The NCA works closely with Border Force to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks involved in drug trafficking.”

Paul Harper, assistant director of inland border command for Border Force added: “This was outstanding work to stop £2 million worth of drugs reaching Britain’s streets and causing further harm to our communities.”

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