Drug gang get more than 30 years in jail
SEVEN men were jailed for more than 30 years for their part in a conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine in Ipswich.The gang used rented addresses in Colchester as part of a complex operation which involved addicts calling a mobile phone number which was widely distributed among the town's hard drug users.
SEVEN men were jailed for more than 30 years for their part in a conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine in Ipswich.
The gang used rented addresses in Colchester as part of a complex operation which involved addicts calling a mobile phone number which was widely distributed among the town's hard drug users.
The men were ordered to serve sentences of between two-and-a-half and seven years by Judge David Goodin, who described the plot as a “sophisticated and wide-reaching conspiracy.”
The co-ordinator, and eldest of the group, Johnny Callie, 57, of Peterhouse Close, Ipswich, was sentenced to seven years.
Callie, who served with the US Air Force in Vietnam, was the only member who did not admit his offences, and was convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs by a jury following a trial earlier this year.
Judge Goodin said that Callie had played a major role in organising the operation by using his age, experience and credit record to rent properties and purchase cars for use by the gang.
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These enabled them to swiftly travel between London, where it is thought the drugs were sourced, Colchester where they were stored and packaged for distribution and Ipswich where they were sold.
Michael Blake, 28, of Belvedere Way, Harlesden, known as “Killer B”, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for his part, and was described by judge Goodin as 'a senior member with significant involvement'.
He was sentenced to a further two years to be served for supply of class A drugs on a separate occasion unrelated to the conspiracy, and six months to be served concurrently for breach of bail.
Marcus Linton, 29, of Bentham Walk, Brent, was sentenced to five years. One of the properties where drugs were found following raids by police was rented in his name.
Judge Goodin said: “It would be wrong for me to assume you rented these premises for the purposes of conspiracy but you were willing to put them to use by the conspiracy.”
The court heard that Linton moved to Colchester to escape the violence of inner city London where he had grown up and become involved with drugs at an early age.
Judge Goodin said it was unfortunate that he had brought the catalyst of much of that violence, the trade in class A drugs, with him.
Clement Morgan, 38, of Chapter Road, Willesden, who has a criminal record stretching back 20 years, was also sentenced to five years in prison.
Martin Abdallah, 21, of Alric Avenue, Harlesden, Jermaine Blake, 21, of Brent, brother of Michael Blake, and Paul Minto, 19, of Recton Road, London, were all described as 'runners' or 'soldiers' and each handed sentences of two-and-a-half years.
Three others, Andre Smith, 19, Daniel Toussaint, 27, and Robert Amponsah, 19, have also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs and will be sentenced on January 10.
The T-Business was smashed by detectives from Suffolk, Essex and London in a meticulously planned operation involving undercover officers known as Operation Wolf.
Three undercover officers, known as John, Martin, and Roxie, called the T-Phone number and met with members of the gang on over 40 occasions between April and August 2005.
After making the call they were usually instructed to wait at quiet locations around the town including on footpaths and in the communal areas of flats.
After meeting with dealers who arrived on foot or bike, they were able to purchase heroin and crack cocaine.
Members of the gang sentenced today had different roles, and not all were personally involved with passing drugs to users.
The more senior members were linked to the offences by properties and vehicles rented or bought in their names, and their association with members who were observed dealing on the streets.
Much of the conspiracy centred around the T-Phone, and the number of this phone was widely distributed among users of heroin and crack cocaine in Ipswich.
On August 4, 2005, premises at George Williams Way, Colchester, Wallace Road, Colchester, Peterhouse Close, Ipswich, Wherstead Road, Ipswich, Watsham Place, Wivenhoe, and Brentham Walk, London, were all raided.
In the course of these raids drugs, paraphernalia and cash were seized, including one haul of crack cocaine and heroin valued at £50,000 which was in the boot of a car parked outside George Williams Way.
Det ch insp Dave Cutler said: “This has been a lengthy and complex police involving considerable resources and hard work by all those concerned.
“The supply of class A drugs is far from being a victimless crime, the misery to individuals through addiction and the wider harm caused to our communities is plain to see.
“The sentences imposed make it clear that drug dealing will not be tolerated and those that seek to profit through the suffering of others should expect to end up in prison.”
Three others Jan 10