An organised crime gang responsible for the large scale supply of Class A drugs in Crewe has been jailed for 19 years.
The sentencing is the culmination of several months’ work by the Cheshire Police Serious and Crime Operations Unit into the supply of illegal Class A drugs in Crewe.
The investigation was initially launched in spring 2015 when officers began surveillance work on a group of men in the Crewe area who they believed were involved in the supply of drugs.
On Tuesday 15 December 2015, after monitoring the gang for over nine months, officers conducted a series of drugs raids at addresses in Crewe and Liverpool, leading to the arrest of six men on suspicion of drugs offences.
Following their arrest David Probin, 28; Christopher Flowers, 28; James Entwistle, 26; Shannon O’Neill, 20; Joseph Cottle, 21, and Bernard Dutton, 55, were all charged with conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.
The gang all appeared at Chester Crown Court where they all, with the exception of Dutton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Dutton initially pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea to guilty at the start of his trial.
Yesterday, Monday 24 October, the group all appeared at Chester Crown Court where the Judge sentenced them to a total of 19 years behind bars. The sentences included:
- David Probin, 28, Bedford Street, Crewe – 6 years 10 months
- Christopher Flowers, 28, Claughton Avenue, Crewe – 3 years 6 months
- James Entwistle, 26, Nelson Street, Crewe – 3 years 6 months
- Shannon O’Neill, 20, Claughton Avenue, Crewe – 21 months suspended sentence, suspended for 12 months, 180 hours unpaid work
- Joseph Cottle, 21, Rimrose Valley, Crosby, Liverpool – 2 years
- Bernard Dutton, 55 – King Street, Liverpool – 3 years 2 months for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possession with intent to supply Class C drugs
Detective Inspector Giles Pierce from the Serious and Crime Operations Unit said: “This was a complex investigation which has not only led to substantial prison sentences for all of the defendants, but has also helped to remove over £260,000 worth of Class A drugs from the streets of Cheshire.
“The investigation was carried out as part of Operation Impact and it shows the commitment that we have in targeting those people that undermine our communities and bring misery to residents through their involvement in organised crime and illegal drugs.”
Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “It’s pleasing to see the sentences that that have been handed down to the defendants in this case and I would like to thank all of the officers and staff involved in the operation for the dedication and commitment that they have shown.
“The supply of illegal drugs is something that many of our residents in Cheshire are concerned about and tackling this issue is of the uppermost importance to me. The Constabulary are undertaking some excellent work to take drugs of the streets and put offenders in prison – I will be working with the Chief Constable to ensure this continues."
Detective Inspector Giles Pierce added: “I hope that this case sends out a clear message to other potential criminals that drugs crime will not be tolerated in Cheshire.
Although this investigation has now concluded our fight against organised criminals and illegal drugs will continue and I urge anyone with any information about suspected drug related activity in their local communities to get in touch.
“Anyone with any information can contact us directly on 101. Alternatively, information can also be passed on anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.”
The Constabulary are undertaking some excellent work to take drugs of the streets and put offenders in prison – I will be working with the Chief Constable to ensure this continues.