A mixed martial arts world champion known as 'the Polish Bear' has been jailed for his role in a major drug trafficking operation which saw laundry bags of cocaine brought to the region.

Przemyslaw Mysiala, 41 - who has held six championship belts and is an internationally recognised name among fight fans - was stopped on the A11, near Attleborough, with £72,000 in cash in his car on December 8, 2021.

Eastern Daily Press: Przemyslaw MysialaPrzemyslaw Mysiala (Image: YouTube)Norwich Crown Court heard that shortly before then, he had delivered two kilos of cocaine at a rendezvous in Trowse, on the Norwich outskirts - one of four trips he had made to the city - which was observed as part of a covert police operation.

Eastern Daily Press: Whitlingham Lane, Trowse, where Mysiala had delivered the drugsWhitlingham Lane, Trowse, where Mysiala had delivered the drugs (Image: Google)That investigation - which began in June 2021 - smashed a drugs network with 13 people arrested.

Seven co-defendants were last year sentenced to almost 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to their roles in the conspiracy last year.

Eastern Daily Press: The seven other gang members who were sentenced last yearThe seven other gang members who were sentenced last year (Image: Norfolk Police)The gang had been involved in flooding the streets of Norwich and Lowestoft with huge amounts of cocaine with members found in possession of many kilos of drugs and hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The group used the seaside village of Kessingland as a hub for their operation, leading to the drug ring being dubbed 'the Kessingland Connection'.

Mysiala, from Berkshire, appeared in court for sentencing on Thursday after a jury took just over three hours to find him guilty of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and possession of criminal property following a trial last month.

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich Crown CourtNorwich Crown Court (Image: Peter Walsh, Newsquest)Jailing Mysiala for a total of seven years Recorder Ruth Brander said his role was "significant" in that he was "trusted" with two kilos of drugs and £72,000 worth of cash.

She said: "That quantity of drugs and money demonstrates that you were a highly trusted part of the operation".

Recorder Brander said he had thought it was a "quick way of making some money for your family" but "in the knowledge you were involved in the supply of drugs".

She acknowledged he was "extremely hard-working and dedicated to martial arts" and that the sentence would effectively mean the end of his career.

Anthony Montgomery appeared on behalf of Mysiala, who was the previous holder of the Ultimate Warrior Challenge and Extreme Brawl world titles, as well as being a member of the Ultimate Fight Championship.

Eastern Daily Press: Przemyslaw Mysiala (left), who fights under the name ‘The Polish Bear’, is said to be a six time world mixed martial arts championPrzemyslaw Mysiala (left), who fights under the name ‘The Polish Bear’, is said to be a six time world mixed martial arts champion (Image: YouTube)He said the defendant, who was of previous good character, was "far removed" from being a "trusted" member of the group and was performing a "limited role under direction".

Mr Montgomery said he was "bristling" with positive points, including his previous good character, his work ethic, "dedication" to his chosen profession in "professional fighting" and "devotion" to his family.

He said the inevitable sentence would be the "kiss of death" to his fighting career.

Mr Montgomery said Mysiala would be missed by his family "not just for company" but also because he was the "breadwinner" and a central figure in the family.

As previously reported, seven other men involved in the huge Kessingland Connection drugs operation were jailed for almost 60 years.

The gang trafficked their wares in the region on a "commercial scale", transporting them in laundry bags.

The drugs were brought from London to Norwich and Kessingland, near Lowestoft, where they were sold onto smaller-scale dealers.

Investigations led police to seize 5kg of cocaine, 52kg of herbal cannabis and £310,000 in cash at locations in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Sentencing other members of the gang in May last year, Judge Alice Robinson said it had been an "operation of the most serious and commercial scale”.

She added that for all those involved there was the "expectation of substantial financial gain".