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Gang members sentenced for drugs and money laundering offences

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Five people have been jailed for a total of more than 40 years for drugs supply and money laundering offences.

Operation Jennet is a Lancashire Constabulary Serious Crime Team investigation into the large scale supply of class A drugs (cocaine), class B drugs (cannabis) and money laundering in the Fylde coast and beyond.

During the course of the operation approximately 6kgs of cocaine, a quarter of a kilo of amphetamine and £122,000 in cash was seized.

The drugs recovered, thought to be a small part of the group’s true level of criminality, were worth around £700,000, with the gang believed to be responsible for bringing drugs into Blackpool worth millions of pounds between May 2016 and July 2017.

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

In March, six people who helped to supply the drugs throughout the resort were also jailed.

On Friday (May 10) five men were sentenced at Preston Crown Court for their part in the conspiracy.

Det Ch Insp Stuart Dixon, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious Crime Team, said: “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 and out of 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.”

Those sentenced last week were involved in the supply of drugs from outside the Blackpool area.

The offenders – part of a Runcorn and Merseyside based organised crime group – worked with the Blackpool-based gang to deliver drugs and launder cash.

Daniel Houghton was a trusted courier for the Runcorn gang transporting cash using a variety of different vehicles as a cover to facilitate this criminal activity. Some of these vehicles were hired by him and there was evidence showing a chain of contact between Houghton and co-conspirators when consignments of drugs were being delivered.

John Fullard was a cash collector who received large amounts of cash from Scott Le Drew – jailed following an earlier hearing – in Blackpool as payment for drugs. Evidence indicates Fullard made two journeys to Blackpool collecting £30,000 each time.

John Foy and his brother James Foy, from Liverpool, were drug couriers and delivered class A drugs to the Blackpool organised crime group using a vehicle with a specially adapted hold to hide the cocaine.

Darren Atkinson was a controller for cash collections and drug deliveries undertaken by the Runcorn group. He would be in phone contact with other couriers when drugs or cash were being transported to the Blackpool area. He was also in contact with Bradley McSpirit, a member of the Blackpool group, who was jailed following an earlier hearing.

Those jailed as part of Operation Jennet have been sentenced to a total of more than 225 years in prison.

Sentencing information:

John Fullard, 34, of Whiteacre Road, Ashton-under-Lyne – pleaded guilty to money laundering and not guilty to conspiracy to supply a class A drug – sentenced to nine years in prison.

John Foy, 39, of Deysbrook Way, Liverpool – pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to supply a class A – sentenced to six years and six months in prison.

James Foy, 24, of Formosa Way, Liverpool – pleaded not guilty conspiracy to supply a class A – sentenced to six years and six months in prison.

Darren Atkinson, 40, of Norton Hill, Runcorn – pleaded not guilty conspiracy to supply a class A – sentenced to nine years and six months in prison.

Daniel Houghton, 40, of Warren Croft, Runcorn – pleaded guilty to money laundering and not guilty to conspiracy to supply a class A drug – sentenced to nine years in prison.


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