A child was accidentally given a kilo of cocaine after two former marines imported the drug into the country in Lego boxes, a court has heard.
Jack Jones, 28, and his former Royal Marines colleague, Isaac Rasmussen, 28 were sentenced to 16-and-a-half years and 10 years respectively at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday.
Paul Jones, 43, was also jailed for seven-and-a-half years after the court heard his addresses were used as the destination for the drugs smuggled into the country from Holland in DPD parcels.
Eighteen kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of £1.8 million, was recovered by police, with one of the packages delivered to Paul Jones’ address while police were executing a warrant last year.
Police found eight Lego Duplo boxes inside, each with a kilogram of high-purity cocaine inside.
The court heard that the same day a package was delivered to an address in Whiston where Rasmussen was a tenant, but this was taken in by a neighbour.
Some weeks later, the neighbour gave one of the Lego boxes to her son’s girlfriend, who needed a present for her friend’s son’s birthday.
The box, which had an image of a fire engine on the front, was gift-wrapped and given to the child, whose mother opened it, the court heard.
The box contained a solid white block of cocaine.
Judge Stuart Driver QC told Rasmussen: "You allowed your home to be used for delivery of multi kilo packages of Class A drugs.
"Part of such a delivery to your address, disguised as Lego, was inadvertently handed to a small child wrapped up as a birthday present, exposing the child to a risk of serious harm."
The court heard the criminals used encrypted messaging service Encrochat, which was infiltrated by police last year.
In one message, Jack Jones told a contact: "Bro we be multimillionaires in three months ha ha ha."
Kenneth Heckle, defending Paul Jones, who is currently serving a prison sentence for cannabis production, said his "entry into the criminal world" started after he lost his job as a forklift truck driver in 2018 when he injured his ankle.