Published: 09:00, 08 February 2013 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
Members of a multi-million pound Kent drugs ring have been jailed for a total of 28 years.
The nine-strong gang supplied huge amounts of cocaine across Canterbury and the south coast.
Drugs with a street value of £6million were taken off the streets - including cocaine with 94% purity - during a police operation.
Sentencing eight of the defendants at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday, Judge Nigel Van Der Bijl described the "sophisticated operation" as a "business-like crime run in open daylight".
Lee Phillips, 30, of Prioress Road, Canterbury, was jailed for four years; Daniel Bridge, 27, of Carlton Avenue, Broadstairs, was jailed for three years; Daniel D’Age, 28, of St George’s Terrace, Herne Bay, was jailed for eight years; Kieren Mitchell, 30, of Roosevelt Avenue, Chatham, was jailed for five years; Justin McColl, 31, of Camden Road, Broadstairs, was jailed for four years; and Robert Curtis, 41, of Leighville Drive, Herne Bay, was jailed for four years.
Angela McColl, 52, of Prospect Road, Broadstairs, was given a two-year prison sentence - suspended for two years.
And Aaron Blake, 31, of Tenterden Drive, Canterbury, will be sentenced on Friday, March 22.
All eight defendants had admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Rachel Deal, 30, of Leighville Drive, Herne Bay, was found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to supply cocaine and given a two-year prison sentence - suspended for two years.
The police operation began in September 2011 when Phillips was stopped in his van by police.
Finding a bag of cocaine in the glove box and £1,220, officers then searched his home and found swabbing equipment and weighing scales.
On the same evening Bridge and Justin McColl were stopped in a VW Golf near McColl’s home - where drugs paraphernalia and £5,000 was seized.
Curtis was arrested when his Ford Mondeo was stopped on the Thanet Way the next month and drugs were found stashed under a seat in a plastic bag.
A search of his caravan in Sutton Vale, Deal, and Lamberhurst farm in Dargate uncovered £16,500 and cocaine with an estimated street value of £54,000.
Then in December 2011, police raided nine properties in Herne Bay, Ashford, Chartham, Sturry and Broadstairs.
Drugs, mobile phones, counterfeit cash and weapons including a crossbow were seized.
DC Martin Lacey, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "This was a highly organised criminal network and the people within the network were pocketing thousands by selling to high end dealers across the east of the county.
"To connect the nine to the drug supply ring took many hours of investigative work in which officers trawled through a huge amount of mobile phone data and other intelligence which had been painstakingly gathered.
"We have been successful in taking millions of pounds worth of drugs off the streets and will continue to relentlessly pursue those intent in profiting from the death and misery caused by illegal drugs."
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.