A BUSINESSMAN and his beautician wife were at the heart of a multi-million pound drugs ring that operated out of a rented Hartlepool Marina penthouse.
When police finally swooped on the home of John and Tanya Rayner in leafy Elwick village they found £150,000 in cash stashed in their loft.
They later found three hand grenades at his business address.
A court heard how drug dealers used a penthouse flat on the Marina to buy and sell high-quality imported cocaine that could have netted them millions.
Top-level dealers paid up to £50,000 a kilo for the drug which would then be cut and sold on to smaller dealers further down the supply chain.
But after a seven-week undercover investigation – sparked by the arrest of a Tyneside drug dealer – police smashed the operation at a time when dealers had recently bought an 18 kilo shipment – at a cost of £900,000.