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Moment delivery driver takes pizza slice from box as customer claims no money for tip - metro

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metro
Cocaine dealers flew drugs from Spain into holiday homes by helicopter

Cocaine dealers flew drugs from Spain into holiday homes by helicopter

metro - 2 days ago
Coke dealers supplied holiday homes by helicopter
A Teesside-based gang has been jailed after running millions of pounds’ worth of coke into the UK

Six members of a gang which used helicopters and a network of rented holiday homes to fly drugs into the country have been jailed.

They were the final suspects to be convicted after an international manhunt led to the capture of Merseyside-born mastermind Lance Kennedy in eastern Europe.

He was caught in 2018 trying to cross from Moldova to Ukraine and jailed for 18 years the following year but has taken years for his associates to stand trial.

The gang loaded helicopters with cocaine in countries including Spain and Belgium and flew them into secluded countryside homes along common flight paths in southern England.

The drugs would then be driven by couriers to the North East, where two members ran a clothes shop in Stockton called ‘Cartel’.

Gary McCarten, 38, and Jason Wilton, 33, were jailed at Teesside Crown Court on Friday, Teesside Live reported.

Dean Johnson, 52, Lee Moody, 44, Gary Huggins, 35, and Ryan Allborn, 29, were jailed earlier this month after being snared by the same Cleveland Police operation.

The police operation was looking into groups linked to Teesside-based druglord named Jonathan Moorby, 51, who used his links to Kennedy to ship huge amounts of cocaine from the North West to the North East while on the run in Thailand.

Lance Kennedy, 32 and of no fixed abode but formerly of Birkenhead. Jailed for 18 years and four months for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
The operation was masterminded by Lance Kennedy, 32, of Birkenhead in Merseyside (Picture: Liverpool ECHO)
Coke dealers supplied holiday homes by helicopter
The gang supplied their network by unloading drugs from helicopters into rented holiday homes
Coke dealers supplied holiday homes by helicopter
Members stored cocaine and cash at properties around northeast England

Moorby was jailed for 14 years in May this year after being arrested by Thai police in 2017 and extradited to the UK two years later.

Six flights containing 500kg of cocaine worth £17.25 million were linked to Kennedy. Not all of it was said to have been supplied to the six defendants but prosecutors said they handled ‘significant’ amounts.

Wilton and McCarten, from Stockton, were said to be senior figures in the operation.

McCarten met couriers sent from Merseyside to supply the North East’s coke network.

Jason Wilton was jailed for six years and four months
Jason Wilton was jailed for six years and four months on Friday (Picture: Liverpool ECHO)
Gary McCarten was jailed for six years and four months
Close associate Gary McCarten was also jailed for six years and four months (Picture Liverpool ECHO)

He oversaw local members such as Johnson and Moody who transported and stored drugs and cash at their respective homes in Thornaby and Stockton, the court heard.

Prosecutors said Wilton operated at the same level and was ‘involved in the telephone contact and was aware of what was happening’.

Allborn was convicted of being concerned in the supply of Class B substances after his fingerprints were found on a one-kilo parcel of cannabis that was among 10kg seized from Johnson’s home in 2016.

Huggins was arrested while picking up two-and-a-half kilos of cocaine, worth over £100,000 from Moody’s garage.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

sauce: metro
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