News

Gang members jailed for drugs supply offences

Friday, March 15, 2019

Six people have been sentenced to a total of more than 25 years in prison for offences including drugs supply and money laundering.

Operation Jennet is an investigation by Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious Crime Team into the large scale supply of Class A drugs (Cocaine), class B drugs (cannabis) and money laundering in the Fylde coast and throughout the United Kingdom.

During the course of the operation, approximately six kilograms of cocaine, a quarter of a kilo of amphetamine and more than £120,000 in cash was seized.

The drugs recovered were worth around £700,000, with the gang believed to be responsible for bringing drugs into Blackpool worth millions of pounds between May 2016 to July 2017.

In November, 15 people, including the ringleaders, Anthony Gill from Manchester and Bradley Gill from Blackpool, were sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

Yesterday (Thursday, March 14) six people who helped to supply the drugs throughout the resort were jailed at Preston Crown Court.

Det Ch Insp Stuart Dixon, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious Crime Team, said: “This organised criminal gang was involved in bringing huge amounts of Class A drugs into Blackpool and profiting from their illicit trade.

“While a number of people, including the gang leaders, have already been sentenced, the individuals sentenced at court this week helped in part to supply the drugs in the resort, with some others helping to launder money.

“These sentences send out a clear message to all those involved in organised crime that we are committed to tackling organised crime groups working in the county

“Organised crime, including the production and supply of drugs, the violence which controls this market, and how it impacts on vulnerable people, blights our communities and puts ordinary law-abiding people at risk.

“I would like to reassure the public we will keep up the pressure on those involved in serious and organised crime in Lancashire, continually striving to protect the most vulnerable. We will relentlessly pursue these offenders and put them before the courts to make our streets safer.”

A second trial for Operation Jennet started in January.

Callum Quinn pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine on the first day of trial. Quinn was a distributor of cocaine in the conspiracy. He sourced it from Bradley McSpirit, through Scott Le Drew and Kevin Tonner, all jailed following November’s trial. Audio recordings proved evidence of the handovers of cash and cocaine.

Philip Bennet was convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine. He worked for Kevin Tonner, storing and distributing cocaine sourced from the Gills. He was arrested in June 2017 with close to 440g of cocaine recovered from his home address.

Stephen McIvor was convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine. He sourced cocaine from Tonner, through Bennet. He was arrested on June 2017 in possession of close to 70g of cocaine, having just left Bennet’s house.

Reece Fletcher pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis. Fletcher was a distributor of cannabis who can be heard on audio recordings interacting with Scott Le Drew, passing money owed for drugs.

Daniel Thornber was convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine. He delivered cocaine to Joseph Murphy – also jailed in the earlier trial – in March 2017, having collected payment from Scott Le Drew. Text messages showed he was involved in the supply of drugs.

Ricky Jackson passed drugs money to Scott Le Drew in June 2017, on behalf of Kevin Tonner. He was convicted of transferring criminal property – money laundering.

John Johnstone passed drugs money to Scott Le Drew in June 2017. He was convicted of transferring criminal property – money laundering.

Matthew Evans is the stepbrother of Kevin Tonner. He handed drugs money to Scott Le Drew in July 2017. He was convicted of transferring criminal property – money laundering.

Sentencing information:

Philip Bennet, 39, of Branstree Road, Blackpool – conspiracy to supply Class A – pleaded not guilty. He was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison.

Steven McIvor, 29, of Warley Road, Blackpool – conspiracy to supply Class A – pleaded not guilty. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Callum Quinn, 23, of Sedbergh Avenue, Blackpool – conspiracy to supply Class A – pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Matthew Evans, 34, of Peter Street, Blackpool – money laundering – pleaded not guilty. He was sentenced to four months in prison.

Ricky Jackson, 52, of Mardale Avenue, Blackpool – money laundering – pleaded not guilty. He was sentenced to eight months in prison.

John Johnstone, 61, of Bowland Crescent, Blackpool – money laundering – pleaded not guilty. He was sentenced to eight months in prison.

Reece Fletcher, 24, of Drummond Avenue, Blackpool – conspiracy to supply Class A – pleaded guilty. He is due to be sentenced on March 19.

Daniel Thornber, 38, of Dingle Avenue, Blackpool – conspiracy to supply Class A – pleaded not guilty. He is due to be sentenced on March 22.


Rate this page