TWO members of an international drug smuggling ring have been jailed for more than 18 years after police found cocaine worth millions of pounds in a car boot.

Matthew King, 42, from Laverstoke Lane, Whit- church, Hampshire, and Harry Lenton, 24, of Midlane Close, Basingstoke, were jailed for two counts of conspiracy to import cocaine.

A third man, Martin Lonsdale, 50, of Chapel Close, Clifton, near Deddington, also admitted two counts of conspiracy to import cocaine after the drugs were found in a car in Kidlington. He will be sentenced next month.

Det Sgt Andy Atherden, of Thames Valley Police Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said the gang had travelled across Europe to pick up millions of pounds worth of cocaine from Madrid, in Spain, four times this year.

Following their final trip, police watched King hand a package of drugs to Lonsdale in the car park at Tesco in Abingdon on Easter Sunday, April 12.

Lonsdale’s Vauxhall Vectra was then pulled over by police on the A4260 at Bunkers Hill, near Kidlington, later in the day.

They found 13 bags filled with 6.5kg of cocaine in a black bag in the boot.

Det Sgt Atherden added: “A large dent has been made in the drug trade. These drugs had a street value of £3m.

“To any neighbour, Lonsdale would appear as a nice pleasant guy, a normal member of the public, and didn’t stand out in a crowd or draw attention to himself. King was much the same and so was Lenton.

“But they were behind a large drugs operation.”

King was arrested in Ask restaurant, in Abingdon, shortly after Lonsdale was detained.

Judge Anthony King sentenced King to nine years and four months in jail and Lenton to nine years at Oxford Crown Court on Friday.

King admitted two charges of conspiracy to import cocaine at a court hearing earlier this year.

Lenton was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to import cocaine by a jury at Oxford Crown Court on Friday after a five-day trial. Lonsdale was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on December 18.

Det Sgt Atherden said: “I am pleased with the sentences as they reflect the seriousness of the crime. It was the largest find of its kind in Oxfordshire and these drugs were bound, not only for the streets of Oxfordshire, but the South of England. Drug supply across the region has very much been disrupted.”

When specialist teams tested the cocaine it was revealed to be almost 100 per cent pure.

About 25 officers were used in the arrests including firearms teams, although no weapons were drawn.