ELEVEN suspects appeared in court last week charged in connection with a series of drug, gun and arson incidents in St Helens last year.
Christopher Lunt, 26, of Sandy Lane, Wigan; Eugene Price, 31, of Tilbury Grove, Leeds; David Doolan, 27, of Gray Street, Bootle; and Alan Doolan, 22, of Gray Street, Bootle, have all been charged with carbon copy offences.
They are: Conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine - both class A controlled drugs - conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life or enable another to do so and conspiracy to commit arson.
A further seven people appeared in court in connection with the same police investigation. Karl McGarry, 25, of no fixed abode, has been charged with conspiracy to supply a class A drug and conspiracy to commit arson.
Christopher Kendall, 28, of Boardmans Lane, Parr; Norman Worrall, 57, of Chester Avenue, Bootle; Deborah Ballard, 43, of Cleveland Street, Peasley Cross; Mark Jervis, 32, of Surrey Street, Parr; and Stephen Finney, 20, of Lambourne Grove, Parr, all stand accused of conspiracy to supply a class A drug.
A 15-year-old boy from Parr was also in court charged with conspiracy to supply a class A drug.
None of the defendants were required to enter pleas.
District Judge Wendy Lloyd set a preliminary hearing at Liverpool Crown Court for March 28.
Meanwhile, police in Merseyside have created an innovative way of encouraging the public to spot the tell-tale signs of cannabis farms.
Thousands of ‘scratch and sniff’ cards have been posted through people’s doors to mark the start of a week of enforcement action and publicity by the police and the independent charity.
Supt Paul White said: “Cannabis is not the harmless drug people think it is.
“It’s the most widely used illegal drug in the UK and it is big business for criminal gangs.”