Soldier from Bury St Edmunds in court on cocaine smuggling charges
A soldier from Bury St Edmunds has appeared in court charged with smuggling a large amount of cocaine into the country.
Daryl Archer, who is now based at Colchester barracks, is accused of attempting to import five kilogrammes (11lbs) of the Class A drug.
The 26-year-old made his first appearance before Uxbridge Magistrates Court in north London on Thursday.
It is alleged that on Wednesday he was concerned in the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of a Class A drug.
Archer is a private with 13 Air Assault Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps.
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He was arrested at Heathrow Airport. Officers detained Archer after he is said to have travelled back from Brazil.
After being interviewed by Border Force staff following his arrival on a flight from Sao Paulo, he was handed over to officers from the National Crime Agency.
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Archer was subsequently charged with the drug offence and held in custody overnight.
Tests are still be carried out on the cocaine which was found and therefore no value has been put up the Class A drug at this stage.
Due to the serious nature of the allegation Archer's case has now been committed to crown court.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled to take place at Isleworth Crown Court in Greater London on January 23.
Magistrates remanded Archer in custody until his next appearance in court.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence based at Colchester confirmed one of its soldiers had been arrested.
He said: 'We can confirm that on 8 January 2014, a serving soldier with 13 Air Assault Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps was arrested at Heathrow airport for alleged importation of a controlled substance.'
A statement for the Border Force read: 'On Wednesday, January 8, Daryl Archer, 26, formerly of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, but now living in Merville Barracks, Colchester, was arrested by Border Force officers after arriving into Heathrow's Terminal 1 on a flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
'It followed the seizure of around five kilos of cocaine.
'The case was referred to the National Crime Agency's Border Policing Command and Archer was later charged with attempting to import a class A drug.'
A Home Office spokesman added: 'In making this seizure Border Force officers have prevented a substantial amount of class A drugs reaching the streets of the UK.'