Drug accused couple led high life, court hears

It was claimed Lee Broadbent ran the business from Malaga.
It was claimed Lee Broadbent ran the business from Malaga.

A lucrative drug “business” based in Blackpool was headed by a man who enjoyed an expensive lifestyle with his partner, a court has heard.

Lee Broadbent lived in a big house with a swimming pool on the Fylde coast and drove expensive new cars, Preston Crown Court was told.

It has been suggested he ran the business by “remote control” after allegedly fleeing to Spain.

His partner, Jaqueline Thomas, is accused of money laundering by having the benefit of money generated through drug trafficking.

Broadbent, 33, and Thomas, 30, have both gone on trial. Broadbent denies a charge of conspiring with others to supply cocaine while Thomas denies a charge of converting criminal property.

The couple had paid rent on a detached house at Mains Lane, Poulton.

They had been seen using a Mercedes car and Broadbent was seen in a BMW M3 convertable, worth around £30,000.

The conspiracy charge covers between June 2011 and January last year.

Mark Monaghan, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution say it was a pretty lucrative business. Over the period, Lee Broadbent and his partner, Jaqueline Thomas, enjoyed a very nice lifestyle, including driving round in expensive new cars and living in a big house with a swimming pool.

“The prosecution say this was a business, this drugs conspiracy, based in Blackpool, with Lee Broadbent at the top running it, even after the time came when he fled to Spain.

“We also say he was running it, in effect, by remote control from across the waters.”

The prosecution claims on three days in October 2011, four significant packages were supplied by Broadbent and his “team”.

On three occasions drugs were seized by police before couriers could get very far, said Mr Monaghan.

On October 4, a vehicle was stopped on the M61 coming from Blackpool. A package recovered from it contained a kilo of “very good quality” 
cocaine, with an 87 per cent purity, with a value of not less than £100,000.

Mr Monaghan added: “The Crown suggest this seizure of a large quantity of cocaine made Broadbent worry about his 
operation because on October 7 he went to Spain.”

He went to Spain by travelling to Glasgow,then flying to Belfast and from there, heading over to Malaga. Two more seizures were made on October 13 with an estimated value of £300,000-350,000, the court heard.

(Proceeding)

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