A HIGH-rolling businesswoman who was caught with £1.5 million of cocaine concealed within a sophisticated hide in the boot of her car has been jailed for 10 years.

Stephanie Nelson, 30, who owns Porsche Cosmetics and lived in a luxury house in Wilmslow, posted dozens of pictures on Instagram showing her enjoying exotic holidays, staying in expensive hotels and posing on yachts around the globe.

As part of a National Crime Agency investigation, officers established it was not only beauty treatments that were funding her lifestyle.

On June 10 this year Nelson was observed driving her Hyundai iX35 into the car park of The Yeoman pub in Bearsted, Kent, where she met John Markham, 53, from Enfield, who was waiting in a white van and handed over two black holdalls.

Nelson drove off and was stopped a short time later in the Dartford Tunnel.

Knutsford Guardian:

Drugs from the car

During the initial inspection no drugs were found, but a more detailed search revealed 15 kilos of high-purity cocaine within a sophisticated and magnetised purpose-built hide in the floor of the boot.

Nelson was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to supply cocaine, and Markham, who claimed to be unemployed but appeared to be living way beyond his means, was detained for the same offence later that day at his home address.

Markham was also jailed for 10 years when they appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty.

Adam Warnock, NCA Branch Commander, said: “Drug trafficking was Nelson’s passport to a high-rolling lifestyle – an expensive house in Cheshire and exotic holidays all over the world – but it was very high risk and now she is behind bars. We believe the drugs run we observed was her sixth one this year.

Knutsford Guardian:

The concealed part of the boot

“Our work does not stop here though, as we will seek to confiscate assets belonging to Nelson and her criminal associate Markham to ensure they no longer benefit from their criminality. The investigation into the wider drug trafficking network is also ongoing.

“Cocaine is an attractive drug for organised criminals because of the potential profits, but we know the groups active in drug distribution are also often involved in street violence, intimidation and exploitation.

“This is why we take this type of activity so seriously, and we are determined to do all we can to disrupt it.”

A proceeds of crime hearing will be held in December.