Posted on Friday 9th September

A gang of nine men have been jailed for a more than 40 years as a result of joint operation between Cheshire Police and North Wales Police.

Operation Analogue was launched in April 2015 following a series of burglaries in Cheshire and North Wales where high performance cars, cash and heirloom jewellery were taken.

Officers conducted a series of warrants throughout the region in July and August 2015, which resulted in the arrest of nine men.

Following questioning the men were charged with a variety of offences, including conspiracy to commit burglaries, handling stolen goods, money laundering and participating in the activities of an organised crime group. The latter offence only came into law two months before the charges.

The charges related to nearly 40 burglaries that the gang had conducted at addresses across Cheshire, North Wales, Merseyside and Shropshire.

All of the men appeared at Mold Crown Court and, in the face of overwhelming evidence presented to the court, they all pleaded guilty to the charges and must now pay the price for committing these crimes.

Detective Inspector Giles Pierce from Cheshire Police said: "These individuals were involved in a raft of burglaries across Cheshire and North Wales and I welcome the sentences which will see them taken off our streets for a considerable amount of time.

"Burglary is a despicable crime as it targets people in the one place they should feel safest, their own home. We take any incidents of this nature extremely seriously and the sentences passed down today reflect that.

"Those who believe Cheshire is an easy target should be warned, we will not tolerate anyone who chooses to travel into the area to commit crime.

"We are committed to tackling the issue and will continue to work with our colleagues in neighbouring forces to ensure that those who break the law end up paying the price for their actions."

DI Lee Boycott from North Wales Police added: “I would like to pay tribute to the victims who had the courage to be willing to cooperate with the planned court case.

“Burglary can have a traumatic effect and the nature of these offences was particularly upsetting for the victims. I hope they receive some comfort from these sentences.

“I would appeal to that community to work with us to never allow this to happen again. I would also ask the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately and to take a common sense approach to home security.”

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “As this case shows, criminals do not simply stop committing offences when they reach the border of the county. Therefore, I am pleased to see that the Constabulary, working with our neighbours at North Wales Police, is making good progress in tackling organised crime gangs.

“I have been clear; people should feel safe in their homes and communities. I hope that the sentences that have been handed down to this gang help reassure residents that officers and staff are working hard to tackle organised criminals to achieve this.”

Below are the details of the nine men who were all sentenced at Mold Crown Court on Thursday 8 September 2016:

  • ​​John Purcell, 24, of King's Road, Connah's Quay – 5 years 
  • Michael McGuire, 47, of Homestead Lane, Wrexham – 6.5 years
  •  Kevin Joseph McGuire, 34, of Blackburn – 6.5 years
  • John James Purcell, 29, of Ruthin Road, Caravan Site in Wrexham – 6 years
  • Stephen Berry, 18, Wrexham - 2 years youth detention
  • Francis McGuire, 32, of Bryn Golau, north Wales - 5.5 half years
  • Miles Berry, 24, of King's Road, Connah's Quay – 5 years
  • Miles Delaney, 32, of the Ruthin Road Caravan Site – 5 years
  • Mark Bowen, 46, of Western Avenue, Whittington, Oswestry - 27 month sentence

I am pleased to see that the Constabulary, working with our neighbours at North Wales Police, is making good progress in tackling organised crime gangs.