Ex-lorry driver who lived in a caravan became courier for a £58m drugs gang

Police almost didn’t catch the fourth member of Hertfordshire’s GBP58m drugs gang. Stephen Capp worked as the group’s courier, a former lorry driver who transported more than a tonne of Class A drugs across the country as part of their major operation. Specialist officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) successfully brought down the group in 2019 after intercepting a drugs delivery in the quiet village of Hunsdon, Hertfordshire.

But for months after the discovery, Capp went unnoticed, living in a caravan-style holiday home in Hull with his partner. It was only for the ring leader’s “stupidity and complacency” that Capp was caught at all. A two-part 24 Hours in Police Custody special on Channel 4 will tell the shocking inside story of Hertfordshire’s biggest ever drugs bust on Sunday (November 8) and Monday (November 9).

Officers “couldn’t believe their luck”

The specialised compartment hidden in the back of Capp’s car

Robert Brooks, the gang leader who was jailed for 21 years for his involvement, was ultimately responsible for leading the police to Capp.

Away from his criminal life, police claim Brooks was a part-time driving instructor and the car he used for his lessons was a red Ford, found in the warehouse at the time of the raid. When searching his car they found a dashcam which contained hours of footage, but police didn’t seem to have much luck when reviewing it. This was until officers found five minutes worth of footage which one of the detectives described as “pure gold” when talking to HertsLive.

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His dashcam recorded for 24 hours a day and luckily for officers, a delivery of drugs between August 14 and 15, 2019, had been caught on camera.

It put Brooks at the warehouse on the day of a delivery, but it also showed a grey Audi pulling up shortly after which was owned and being driven by Capp. After the major turning point in the investigation, officers began their surveillance of Capp. They followed him back to a holiday home which police confirmed he lived in with his partner, which raised even more questions about why a drugs courier for a GBP58m gang was living in a caravan-type-home.

Ex-lorry driver who lived in a caravan became courier for a £58m drugs gangDashcam footage shown in the documentary recorded one of the men reversing into the garage after a delivery of drugs

One of the detectives, who wants to be known as Dave to protect his identity, said officers “couldn’t believe their luck” when they found the dashcam footage.

He continued: “In terms of the dashcam in the car, I’m still quite shocked that Brooks was stupid enough to have it recording when someone was picking the drugs up from the unit. “Through his complacency and stupidity, he recorded in HD for us the conspiracy in action and it was a real breakthrough moment for us. “That dashcam footage gave us several things, it gave us Capp turning up there after a delivery and collecting commodity and it also put Brooks in that unit when that happened.”

When asked whether he believed they would have been directed to Capp without the dashcam footage, Dave said: “It would have been a lot harder.”

How did he get caught?

Ex-lorry driver who lived in a caravan became courier for a £58m drugs gangThe drugs seized from Capp’s car

Once police had all their evidence, the next task was to catch Capp with drugs in his possession. In a tense part of the documentary, police speak about how they plan to stop Capp in a risky move whilst he’s on the motorway. As a courier he spent most of his time on the road so police saw it as a risky but perfect move.

In December last year, police crashed into him on the M25 in Chorleywood. Viewers see the dangerous move being pulled off, but officers can’t seem to find the drugs in the car. A full search of the vehicle seemingly comes to nothing, but police then discover a hidden compartment within the vehicle used to avoid detection.

Capp was arrested on the M25 in December 2019 with five kilograms of cocaine found in his car. The four members of the gang were jailed for more than 50 years combined. The first of two episodes of ’24 Hours in Police Custody – The Home County Cartel’ will air on Channel 4 tonight (Sunday, November 8) between 9pm and 10pm.

The second episode will air from 9pm to 10.35pm on Monday (November 9) on the same channel.

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