Five men have today (Friday 3 February 2012) been sentenced to a total of almost 22 years' imprisonment for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in Scarborough.
Thomas Robert Hunt, 34, from Manchester, who led the organised crime group, was sentenced to six years' imprisonment, Adrian Hudson, 34, from Manchester, was given four years and 11 months and Paul Newlove, 30, from Manchester was jailed for three years and seven months. Scarborough men, Stephen Lee, 46, was imprisoned for four years and Paul Rennie, 31, was imprisoned for three years and three months.
The men all pleaded guilty at a previous appearance at York Crown Court.
Further members of the group will be sentenced at a later date.
The sentences are the culmination of a long running and complex investigation into an organised crime group from the Moston area of Manchester. The operation began in 2009 when North Yorkshire Police uncovered the group was bringing large quantities of heroin and crack cocaine into the town. It involved officers from CID, members of the Safer Neighbourhood Team and the Financial Investigator Unit.
The intelligence gathered during the operation showed that the group ran their activities from Manchester, but using local dealers to carry out drug deals in Scarborough. It was also evident that they were prepared to use violence to enforce drug debts and intimidate the users. Enquiries by financial investigators showed the group was using multiple bank accounts to launder the proceeds of their crimes.
During the operation, heroin and crack cocaine with a street value of over £15,000 was recovered and in excess of £12,000 in cash seized. Police also seized a vehicle belonging to one of the group members.
Throughout the operation officers took every opportunity to disrupt the activities of everyone concerned. This involved frequent stop and searches and arrests of group members, as well as drug users who were identified during the investigation.
The group led by Hunt was one of a number of Moston-based gangs operating nationally. The other forces investigating these gangs include Cumbria, Humberside, Devon & Cornwall, Avon & Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire, Merseyside and Sussex.
Detective Sergeant Steve Paxton, of Scarborough CID, said: "I am very pleased with the sentences handed down by the court.
"The terms of imprisonment send the very simple message that, if you think you can deal drugs and get away with it in North Yorkshire and the City of York, you can't.
"The gang led by Hunt was utterly ruthless and showed a willingness to use violence to enforce drug debts.
"The arrest and conviction of gang members has been a contributory factor in the reduction of crime across the Scarborough district. With the public's support, we can and will reduce crime even further."
Anyone with information about drug related activity should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101. Or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
3 February 2012