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Publicity campaign to feature Blackpool criminals

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A drugs gang, which flooded the streets of Blackpool with class A drugs, will feature in a publicity campaign.

The fifteen members of the drugs gang, who were jailed for almost 70 years, will be in leaflets and posters which will be handed out to residents in the local area to reassure them that action has been taken. 

 

Det Chief Insp Becky Smith, of Blackpool CID, said: “The activity of these criminals brought misery to those addicted to drugs and their loved ones as well as the wider community.

 

“The offences were committed in various parts of Blackpool but predominantly in Claremont. We will be distributing the leaflets and posters in this area to let residents know that action has been taken and to reassure them that we are committed to doing everything we can to take those responsible for dealing drugs off our streets.

“I hope this also sends out a clear message to anyone else involved in this sort of criminal behaviour that we will do all we can to find you and put you before the courts.”

The Merseyside-based drugs gang were responsible for supplying heroin and crack cocaine within the town.

A police operation targeting the gang ran from 1 August 2015 to 16 December 2015. During that time, there were an estimated 18,000 drug deals made, with the groups’ mobile phone number receiving on average 357 calls a day to buy drugs.

The operation concluded on 16 December 2015 with numerous search warrants conducted in Lancashire and Liverpool.

16 people were charged with drug offences, with 11 of those later pleading guilty at Preston Crown Court. The five that pleaded not guilty went to trial in February, where four out of the five were convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

 

 

John Paul Hodson, 32, of Marmion Avenue, Liverpool, was thought to be the main member of the gang. He was jailed for nine years.

Trevor Pollard, 34, formerly of Butleigh Road, Liverpool, was Hodson’s ‘right-hand man’ and the courier of drugs and cash between Liverpool and Blackpool. He received eight years imprisonment plus another year for Proceeds of Crime Act offences.

The materials have been funded by Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw. Mr Grunshaw said: "I'm pleased that the hard work and determination of our officers has led to a dangerous drugs gang which was blighting the Blackpool area being removed from our streets.

"This is another clear sign that this type of criminality will not be tolerated and should reassure residents that officers will act on any information passed to them to keep our communities safe - a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan.

"A lot of the work being done to combat criminal gangs such as this often goes unseen but it is happening and achieving real results, showing that the police have the resources, skills and determination to tackle organisations like this and bring their members to justice."

The sentences for each of the individuals were as follows:

  • John Paul Hodson, 32, of Marmion Avenue, Liverpool. Head of the OCG. Pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Supply heroin and crack cocaine.  Jailed for nine years.
  • Antonia Coughlin, 31, of Marmion Avenue, Liverpool. Hodson’s partner. Pleaded guilty to allowing premises to be used for the supply of heroin and crack cocaine. 20 months suspended sentence.
  • Trevor Pollard, 34, last known address Butleigh Road, Liverpool. Principal OCG member. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine and proceeds of crime act offences. Eight years plus one year for POCA (consecutive).
  • Ben Fraser, 34, last known address Bishop Road, Liverpool. Middle man in Blackpool. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Seven years.
  • Terence Pollard, 61. Owner of Cheltenham Road safe house. Convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Seven and a half years.
  • Ryan Jones, 20, last known address Bolton Road, Westhoughton. Runner. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Four years four months.
  • Stuart Pothecary, 35, last known address Boscombe Road, Blackpool. Runner. Convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Four years six months.
  • George Findlay, 36, formerly of Cookson Street, Blackpool. Runner. Convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Four years six months.
  • Christopher Arrandale, 36, last known address Fisher Street, Blackpool. Runner.Pleaded guilty to supplying heroin and crack cocaine. 30 months
  • Alan Sprague, 36, last known address Knowle Avenue, Blackpool. Runner. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin.  Two years 11 months.
  • Daniel Sampson, 20, last known address Osborne Road, Blackpool. Runner. Convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Three years 10 months.
  • Susan Yates, 47, last known address Foxhall Road, Blackpool. Runner. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Failed to appear and a warrant issued for her arrest.
  • Steven Duxbury, 31, last known address McCormack Avenue, St Helens. Runner. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Three years two months.
  • Martin Corallo, 29, last known address Cheltenham Road, Blackpool. Driver. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Two years.
  • Wayne Bromley, 31, last known address King Edward Avenue, Blackpool. Driver. Pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine. Five years eight months.

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