18 years' jail for Black Friday conspirator

ONE of the Griffith men arrested in the 2008 "Black Friday" drug sting has been handed an 18-year jail sentence for his part in importing almost 100 kilograms of pure cocaine into Australia.

Giovanni Polimeni, 40, was found guilty last month of conspiracy to possess $38 million worth of cocaine.

He was sentenced to 18 years behind bars in Victoria's County Court on Monday and will spend at least 12 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

The two kingpins in the conspiracy have already been jailed for their part in the 2007 importation of the cocaine and 15 million ecstasy tablets, which were shipped to Melbourne in tomato tins.

Pasquale Barbaro is serving a life sentence with a minimum of 30 years and Saverio Zirilli will spend 26 years in prison with a minimum of 18.

The men were arrested on August 8, 2008 when the Australian Federal Police carried out dramatic dawn raids on four Griffith properties, an operation which has become known as the "Black Friday" drug busts.

Co-accused Pasquale Sergi has been found guilty of intending to possess a commercial quantity of ecstasy and is awaiting a sentencing date in Melbourne County Court.

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