THREE men have been jailed for a total of 40 years for their roles in a conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Gerrard Gandy, 34, of Orrell Road, Wigan Gareth Mawdsley, 34, of Bleasdale Close, Aughton; and James Moran, 33, of Banksbarn, Skelmersdale were sentenced to 14, 16 and 10 years respectively at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and money laundering offences.
It follows the sentencing of John Green, 30, of Windrows, Skelmersdale who was jailed for six years in November 2014 for possession of cocaine with intent to supply.
They were arrested following Operation Taurus, an investigation by Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) which began in March 2014.
It was established that Gandy and Mawdsley were the leaders of the drugs gang, while Moran and Green were couriers of both drugs and cash.
The operation led to the recovery of 53kgs of cocaine, 150,000 ecstasy tablets and over £250,000 in cash in total. The drugs had a street value of over £12 million.
As part of the investigation, officers made Lancashire Police’s largest ever cocaine seizure after they raided a caravan on Fleet Lane in the St Helens area of Merseyside and seized 35kgs of high purity cocaine and over £200,000 in cash.
Lancashire’s SOCU worked with Hampshire Police throughout the operation to investigate the supply of cocaine across England, particularly Skelmersdale, Lancashire, Merseyside and Hampshire.
Mawdsley’s partner, Kelly Carmichael, of Bleasdale Close, Aughton was also sentenced yesterday to eight months imprisonment suspended for two years plus 240 hours unpaid work for assisting an offender
Graeme Hawkes, 29, of Carfield, Skelmersdale is due to be sentenced for the same offence at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday August 18.
DI Martin Kane of Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit said: “Our investigation uncovered a large scale cocaine supply network between Lancashire, Merseyside and the South Coast and we have worked in partnership with Hampshire Police throughout.
“The drugs seizures we have made throughout this operation will dramatically reduce its supply and the harm cocaine causes across Lancashire and the North West of England.
“The activities of drug dealers can have such a negative effect on our communities. They can ruin lives, fuel other crime and can instil fear in our neighbourhoods.
“We will not tolerate the supply and selling of drugs in our county and I hope that the sentences handed down today send out a clear message that we are determined to bring to justice those who are involved in the supply of drugs in our county and beyond and we will continue to tackle organised crime on this scale.”