North-East drugs gang starting lengthy sentences for plot to flood region with cocaine (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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North-East drugs gang starting lengthy sentences for plot to flood region with cocaine
A CHANCE meeting behind bars resulted in a drugs gang flooding the streets of the North-East with cocaine, a court heard today (Monday, September 16).
Members of two groups of drug dealers are tonight starting prison sentences totally more than 50 years.
Ian Maynard was less than half way through a nine year sentence when he was sent to Kirklevington Grange Prison, near Yarm, to begin preparations for his release from custody.
Despite the lengthy sentence, Maynard could not resist the lure of easy money and struck up a friendship with Hesam Zaboli, who had been serving time for blackmail.
The pair along with Maynard’s right hand man, Paul Burke, were the lynch pins of a plan to bring 1kg of high purity cocaine, with a street value of £664,000, from Manchester to the North-East.
When officers from Cleveland Police raided an address in Achilles Close, South Bank in October last year, three men were arrested while checking the cocaine.
Manchester-based courier Spencer Brockley, and Middlesbrough brothers Stephen Jones and David Jones tried to prevent police recovering the drug by washing it down a sink, Teesside Crown Court heard.
The brothers’ boss, Brian Clarke, was arrested following a motorbike pursuit which was caught on film by the police helicopter.
The court heard that Maynard and Burke were already under surveillance after a kilo of heroin, worth £75,000, was recovered when Tabriz Sabir was picked up in Newcastle train station and telephone analysis linked the pair.
Christine Egerton, prosecuting, described Maynard and Burke as main players in Cleveland while Zaboli was the man who arranged the deal in his original hometown of Manchester.
Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC, heard Maynard’s barrister say there was no malice in his client.
Sentencing him, the judge disagreed, he said: “There is malice in you, there is malice in everyone who deals in class A drugs.”
Maynard, 36, Kirklevington Prison was sentenced to ten years’ concurrent after pleading guilty to two charges of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs;
Burke, 28, of Passfield Crescent, South Bank, was sentenced to eight years for the same two charges;
Stephen Jones, 34, of Bevanlee Road, South Bank, was sentenced to five years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs;
David Jones, 22, of Bevanlee Road, South Bank, was sentenced to three years and four months for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs;
Brockley, 38, of Slack Road, Manchester, was sentenced to five years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs;
Brian Clarke, 40, of Grosmont Road, Grangetown, was sentenced to six years and eight months for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs;
and Mark Osbourne, 41, of Oxford Road, Middlesbrough, was sentenced to five years for the same charge.
Jailed: Mark Osbourne
Zaboli, 29, of Cambridge Square, Middlesbrough, the only man to contest the charge of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, was sentenced to 11 years after a trial.
Sabir, 25, of Tetley Road, Birmingham, was sentenced to 40 months for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs after pleading guilty at a separate hearing Newcastle Crown Court.
Speaking after the case Chief Inspector Dave Mead, of Cleveland Police’s organised crime unit, welcomed the sentences.
He said: “This is a great result for us, there has been a lot of work gone into this investigation and the length of the sentences sends out a clear message that drug dealing will not be tolerated.
“Maynard and Burke had all the trappings of drug dealing, with expensive cars and watches worth £50,000, but now they are behind bars again.”
Detective Inspector Paul Colling, of the North East Regional Crime Unit, praised the collaborative work that resulted in lengthy prison sentences.
He said: “This is an excellent example of close partnership working and managing the risk posed by criminals such as this. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the governor of Kirklevington Grange Steve Robson for his assistance, because without his help, we would not have achieved this result.”
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