An organised crime group which supplied crack cocaine and heroin with a street value of half a million pounds has been jailed for nearly 60 years.
A year-long investigation led by Gloucestershire Constabulary resulted in 14 people being convicted of supplying the drugs in the county.
Over the past two days those involved in the drugs conspiracy have been jailed at Salisbury Crown Court for a total of 59 years and two months.
During the operation Gloucestershire Constabulary seized drugs valued at £100,000 and £93,000 in cash.
The wide ranging investigation, working in partnership with Merseyside Police, West Yorkshire Police, British Transport Police and Her Majesty’s Prison Service, centred on a local crime family who conspired to supply class A drugs from June 2016 to May 2017.
The head of the Gloucester gang, Kieran Robinson of Ince Castle Way, Gloucester was convicted in July 2016 for possession of a sawn off shot gun and sent to HMP Bristol.
While detained in HMP Bristol Robinson was able to use up to ten mobile phones to run his drugs empire. Family and friends bought top-up vouchers to enable him to continue to liaise with co-conspirators and drugs couriers.
Yesterday (Thursday) the 20-year-old mastermind was jailed for 10 years and six months for his involvement in the drugs conspiracy.
His brother, Ashley Nicholls-Perry, 25 and of Ince Castle Way, Gloucester was released from prison in January 2017 following a sentence for drugs supply. He was promptly sent back to jail the following month for continuing to supply heroin.
At Gloucester Crown Court on 28 April last year Nicholls-Perry pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and was sentenced to four years and six months in custody.
Their mother, Sasha Nicholls of Ince Castle Way, Gloucester was found in possession of £70,000 and given a six-month sentence suspended for a year for money laundering.
Robinson’s brother-in-law, Nahom Kidane also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin. His fingerprints were found on banknotes seized which were also heavily contaminated with heroin.
Kidane, 28 and of Park End Road, Gloucester has today (Friday) been sentenced to five years and eight months in custody for two counts of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and two counts for conspiracy to supply heroin.
A key figure in the drugs network was 40-year-old Julian Bell who was identified as the wholesale supplier to the Gloucester gang. Bell was the Merseyside ‘upstream’ gangster with a history of involvement in Manchester gang violence.
He had previously received a prison sentence of 20 years for drugs and firearms offences and was nicknamed the ‘Godfather of Death’.
Under the guise of running a jewellery business, he was able to arrange the supply of crack cocaine and heroin via sources throughout the country.
He moved at least £500,000 of drugs into Gloucester. Yesterday (Thursday) Bell, of Dover Road, Southport was sentenced to 10 years and six months in custody for his involvement.
Bell and Robinson had known each other for a long time because Robinson’s mother, Sasha Nicholls, had had a long association with Bell.
Other members of the crime gang included Kiano Houghton-Jones and Omari Martin. Houghton-Jones and Martin were both serving sentences during the period of the conspiracy at HMP Bristol and HMYOI Portland for offences committed in Gloucestershire involving class A drugs.
They too had access to mobile phones and were able to co-ordinate their lucrative criminal activities. Both made and received thousands of telephone calls and text messages while behind bars.
While being transferred from HMP Bristol to HMYOI Portland, Houghton-Jones was found in possession of an iPhone which was hidden in a hollowed out section of his legal documents.
While in HMP Bristol the pair posed for a selfie on a mobile phone.
Houghton-Jones, 22 and of Abbeymead, Gloucester was sentenced to three years and eight months for conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin and a further four months for possession/use of a mobile phone while in prison.
Martin, 21 and of St Pauls Road, Gloucester previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine, conspiracy to supply heroin and use/possession of a mobile phone while in prison. He will be sentenced next month.
Shareen Randles, 32 of Parker Street, Birmingham was used as a courier travelling between Birmingham and Gloucester, often only staying in the city a matter of minutes.
She too took a selfie showing her posing with a large amount of money. Today (Friday) she has been sentenced to six years in custody for conspiring to supply class A drugs.
Harry Wells, 20 and of Deans Way, Gloucester was sentenced to six years and ten months for two counts of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and two counts of conspiracy to supply heroin.
Jordan Ireland, 21 and of Dinglewell, Gloucester was sentenced to six years for conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Jordan Lovesey, 22 and of Underhill Road, Gloucester was sentenced to two years and eight months for conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and conspiracy to supply heroin.
Victoria Mawson, 34 and of St Oswalds Road, Gloucester was sentenced to two years in custody, suspended for two years, with an 80 hour community order after admitting conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and conspiracy to supply heroin.
Amaan Khan, 25 and of Sandygate Terrace, Bradford was sentenced to an 80 hour community order for money laundering.
At Gloucester Crown Court on 28 April last year Paul Bedford, 22 and of Marlstone Close, Gloucester pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and was later sentenced to two years and six months in custody.
Detective Inspector Ian Fletcher, of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “The sentences passed today send a very strong message to all criminals in the county that wherever you are, and whatever criminal activity you are getting up to, we will target you and we will look to convict you.
“Class A drugs cause undue misery within local communities and inevitably lead to violent clashes between rival groups.
“This operation was the direct result of information being supplied by members of the public who were no longer willing to see overt drug dealing on their streets.
“If anyone has concerns regarding drug dealing activities in their local area please speak with your local officers, dial 101 or call independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk