Gang convicted over £10m Breaking Bad-style amphetamine factory found in rural Warwickshire
Date of alert:
Thursday, 9 June 2022
Four members of an organised crime group who ran a Breaking Bad-style amphetamine factory in rural Warwickshire have been convicted of drugs offences. The drugs lab was one of the largest amphetamine factories ever found in the UK and was capable of producing 400 kilos of amphetamine per month, worth £2 million at wholesale and up to £10 million at street level.
National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators identified encrypted messaging platform EncroChat was being used to run the drugs laboratory close to the village of Ullenhall, between Henley-in-Arden and Redditch. The drugs were distributed to dealers in the West Midlands, London and Kent.
Group ringleader John Keet, 41, of Middle Meadow, Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire, invested profits from a career dealing cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines into building and managing the lab. He paid for his right hand man, Keith Davis, 62, of Brayfield Lane, Chalfont St Giles, to undergo chemistry training to enable him to operate the site.
Andrew Gurney, 51, of Middle Meadow Avenue, Quinton, Birmingham, known as ‘The Geek’ due to his specialist electrical installation and plumbing skills, converted what had been a double garage outbuilding into the drugs lab. Gurney also received the same chemistry training as Davis.
Elliott Walker, 49, of Hither Farm Road, Kidbrooke, south London, was an associate of Keet and purchased specialist equipment for the lab.
Work started on the building in March 2020 and it began producing drugs in May of that year. The gang initially bought amphetamine pre-cursor chemical benzyl methyl ketone (BMK) but quickly realised it was more profitable to make it themselves.