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Towie star's boyfriend to be sentenced for dirty money stash

The boyfriend of Towie star Cara Kilbey will be sentenced later for having a stash of dirty money in his daughter's bedroom after being cleared of heading up a multimillion-pound drug dealing empire.

Unemployed Daniel Harris was accused of making "vast profits" by sending drug couriers on mopeds disguised as trainee cabbies around central London over three-and-a-half years.

The 33-year-old Liverpudlian quipped about his "champagne tastes, lemonade money" when asked to explain his luxury lifestyle of fast cars, expensive holidays and designer outfits.

Quizzed on £116,000 in bank notes found in his daughter's wardrobe following his arrest, he claimed he was given it to help fund his suspected drug smuggler father's legal defence.

In an apparent admission, he said: "It may well have come from crime or some sort of criminal activity but I don't know the origins of it."

A jury deliberated for a day to clear Harris of the cocaine plot as well as involvement in a £200,000 heroin deal scuppered by police in May 2015.

He was found guilty of possessing criminal property and will be sentenced by Judge Nicholas Cooke QC later.

Police launched a covert surveillance operation tracking Harris's movements over the course of more than a year before swooping to arrest him in March 2016.

Other men, some of whom were Harris's friends, went on to plead guilty to their part in the plots and have been jailed for up to 16-and-a-half years.

Evidence suggested the cocaine gang had a turnover of nearly £500,000 a week at the height of their activities.

They kept it under wraps by hiring an East End flat and lock-up where they stored six scooters and packaged the cocaine after it was cut with benzocaine.

During a secret night-time raid, officers bugged the garage and took samples of powder from Union flag logo bags for testing.

The plotters used public phone kiosks and PGP - Pretty Good Privacy - encrypted BlackBerry devices to communicate.

The prosecution claimed Harris drove Miss Kilbey's white Porsche to meetings, while all the time keeping the business at "arm's length".

The couple met in Spain in the summer of 2014 when Miss Kilbey fell pregnant, only to suffer the heartache of losing their first child, the court heard.

Harris moved into her flat in Theydon Bois, Essex, and was paid £50,000 to be Man Friday to her father, Gary Kilbey, part-owner of Fabric nightclub.

Mr Kilbey described his daughter's lover as a "good man" and said he had wanted to help him set up a Cross Fit gym in exchange for retrieving some debts.

Harris listed his former interests as "chasing girls", football and gambling, as well as occasionally indulging in cocaine, even though his current girlfriend disapproved of drugs.

He knew some of his friends were drug dealers and, after being let in on their secret during a ski holiday to Verbier in Switzerland, he made use of the moped delivery service once, he said.

Harris's father was arrested in December 2015 for allegedly smuggling drugs from Spain to the UK but Harris said that he in "no way" had anything to do with it.

The other defendants have already been sentenced for their various involvement in either or both of the drugs plots.

Joseph Maloney, 33, of Tower Hamlets, east London, received 15 years; Jay Tripp, 34, of Fyfield, Essex, 16-and-a-half years; Jack Lyman, 28, of Bexley, Kent, seven years; Danny Ward, 34, of Beckenham, Kent, 11 years; Nial Kellaghan, 29, of Greenwich, south London, seven years; Dean Standen, 34, of Sidcup, seven years and nine months; and Daniel Crook, 32, of HMP Peterborough, five years' imprisonment.

Frederick Jennings, 20, of south-east London, was handed 21 months' detention suspended for 18 months with 200 hours unpaid work.

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