Fake tobacco, drug criminal gets longer sentence

A cigarette counterfeiter and drug smuggler who escaped custody in the UK in 2018 only to be apprehended in Spain earlier this year has had two years added to his sentence.

Daniel Dobbs (31) from Malton in North Yorkshire – also known as Dobbo (pictured right) – was convicted of trafficking heroin and amphetamines and sentenced to 13 and a half years’ imprisonment in January 2014.

Dobbs absconded from his prison cell at HMP Hatfield Lakes, a category D open prison in South Yorkshire, in November 2018. He was arrested in Spain in February as part of a Guardia Civil investigation into an underground tobacco factory in Malaga.

The counterfeit cigarettes were made in unsanitary conditions and of low-quality components, according to a National Crime Agency statement.

Officers seized over 3m counterfeit cigarettes, along with 20kg of hashish and 144kg of marijuana – illustrating once again how counterfeits can be linked to other forms of crime – as well as three weapons, eight GPS tracking devices and one jamming device.

Dobbs was returned to the UK in March 2020 and on 21 July, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for escape from lawful custody, and 12 months concurrently for improper use of an identity document at Lewes Crown Court.

The new terms will run consecutively with the remainder of his 13 and a half year sentence.

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