Three men jailed after drug ring busted

Police incident
Police incident

Three men who intended to supply an enormous stash of drugs with a street value of almost £500,000 are behind bars after being sentenced to a total of 22 years.

Darren Winstanley and Mark Anthony Wood, both from St Helens, and Jonathan Anthony Griffin, from Newton-le-Willows, were jailed for conspiracy to supply class A drugs at Chester Crown Court.

Winstanley, of Kendal Drive, received six years and eight months for conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine while Wood, of Elephant Lane, was sentenced to six years and eight months for conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

Griffin, of Ivy Avenue, was jailed for eight years and eight months for conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

The trio were caught following an eight-month operation by Merseyside Police detectives in St Helens between October 2014 and June 2015.

During the investigation two massive hauls of drugs were found at addresses in Newton-le-Willows and Warrington.

Investigating officers found 928g of heroin, 397.85g of cocaine and 1.9kg of cannabis, which had a total estimated street value of between £114,279 and £170,543, at a house in Dean Meadow in December 2014.

Police also recovered a large metal press, electronic scale, mixing bowls and more than 13kg of powders used to bulk out drugs.

Detectives then seized an even bigger haul from a property in Greenings Court on March 25 last year.

Officers fond nearly 4kg of heroin and 1.1kg of cocaine with a total street value of between £270,000 and £375,000. Scales, mixing bowls and 9kg of adulterants were also seized.

Police today said they hoped the sentences given to 31-year-old Winstanley, 33-year old Wood and Griffin, 28, sent out a message that those involved in illegal drugs would be found and prosecuted.

Detective Sergeant Chris Lowe said: “This conspiracy involved the mixing of drugs in Merseyside and Cheshire for supply across the region. This group has blighted communities in Merseyside and beyond, profiting heavily from the sales of drugs.

“Merseyside Police is committed to targeting those who are involved in serious and organised crime. The clear message today is that if you are involved in the supply of illegal drugs, you will be arrested and put before the courts.

“I hope these sentences serve as a deterrent to anyone thinking of becoming involved in the supply of drugs.”