A DRUGS kingpin should not be punished twice for running a major cocaine and cannabis ring and money laundering, according to his barrister. Darren Bowling, 48, who owned a storage company, car sales operation and had a stake in popular East Lancashire bar, headed up a narcotics conspiracy which is said to have spread across the region and the entire country. Detectives discovered thousands of pounds after raiding a number of properties connected with Bowling, including Castle Storage at Hapton. And as part of the serious and organised crime unit’s Operation Victor inquiry, officers would eventually seize more than two kilos of cocaine, 15 kilos of amphetamine, cannabis and £200,000 in cash. Defence barrister Jeremy Lasker told Preston Crown Court it was accepted that Bowling had the leading role in the conspiracy and police had been able to gauge the scale of the operation due to the amount of profits recovered. But Mr Lasker said his client should not face ‘double jeopardy’ as the money laundering aspect of the case could be incorporated within the overall drugs supply conspiracy. Bowling, of Colne Road, Barrowford, has admitted, conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis and money laundering. He will be sentenced alongside several of his accomplices on October 10. He had a £1.2million villa in Malaga, other properties in Bulgaria and drove around in a Porsche Cayenne. Remanding Bowling in custody, Judge Robert Altham said the question would be whether there should be concurrent or consecutive sentences for the three offences the defendant had admitted.
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PAUL Daniels is just as much a live-wire in real life as he is on stage – he’s not one of those entertainers who switch off their personality the minute they leave the theatre – and when we meet to discuss his new show which reaches King George’s Hall, Blackburn, next Thursday, he is straight into the jokes, most of them at his own expense.