Drugs gang jailed

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Last month members of a ‘Breaking Bad’ style gang who imported millions of pounds of drugs from mainland Europe to cut and then sell on from their Darwen headquarters were jailed.

And today (Wednesday, April 12) more members of the gang have been sent to prison as our #OpWarrior fight against serious and organised crime continues.

Footage from inside the group’s operating base showed OCG members putting on forensic suits to weigh out and cut in excess of 200 kilos of amphetamine with mixing agents to be sold all over the North and South of England.

The cameras also captured huge quantities of cannabis in black bin liners being dropped off at the unit in Hollins Grove Mill, Darwen, to be packaged and sold on via a network of the OCG’s street dealers.

The investigation, which falls under Operation Warrior – started in 2021 after we attributed encrypted mobile phones to gang leader Zac Deaffern and co-defendant John Rowe.

That pair were jailed along with a number of others last month for a total of more than 30 years.

Sentenced today were:


  • Ashley Morris, 31, of Waters Edge, Middleton, two years and six months for conspiring to supply amphetamine and cannabis.
  • John Cropper, 45, of Roseway Avenue, Cadishead, Manchester, two years and eight months for conspiring to supply amphetamine.
  • Anthony Richardson, 38, of Mackenzie Street, Bolton, three years and four months for conspiring to supply amphetamine.
  • Nicholas Mullin, 33, of no fixed abode, four years and four months for conspiring to supply amphetamine and cannabis.
  • Taylor Walker, 29, of Staining Road, Blackpool two years and six months for conspiring to supply cannabis.

Det Supt Nick Connaughton, from East Division, said: “This criminal gang imported and distributed drugs on a huge scale, making massive profits for themselves by bringing misery to countless numbers of people.

“I hope that our work to take down this OCG, and the lengthy sentences delivered by the courts, sends a clear message to those looking to profit from criminality that we will not tolerate such behaviour in our communities and that we will continue to take the fight to such criminals.”

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden added: "It's important that we send a clear message to criminals that police are coming to get you, and this is another great example of the work officers do, every single day, to disrupt and dismantle organised crime gangs and put them behind bars.
"It's what Op Warrior is all about, taking the fight to criminals that blight our communities, delivering on my Fighting Crime Plan and seeing even more arrests, more asset seizures and more drugs off our streets. Results like this, which will directly make Lancashire safer, is what the public want to see and delivers on a top priority in my Fighting Crime Plan.
"I would encourage anyone to report suspicious activity, or any information that might help in bringing criminals to justice. We continue to go after more and make sure those involved in organised crime feel the full force of the law and have their day in court .”

#OpWarrior is our response to tackling serious and organised crime in Lancashire and delivering on Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden's Fighting Crime Plan priority of disrupting and dismantling organised crime.

 Morris   Cropper  Richardson  Mullin   Walker



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