Seven people have been jailed as part of an investigation into the supply of Class A drugs in the Merseyside area.
The operation was a joint collaboration between TITAN regional organised crime unit and St Helens CID Organised Crime Team and utilised the deployment of an undercover officer.
The officer posed as a drug user and was able purchase heroin and crack cocaine from drug dealers on the streets of St Helens.
The officer’s work was supported by an indepth covert investigation.
Members of the group were seen to deal drugs around St Helens and also in the Leigh area where they were also involved in the supply of Class A drugs.
A number of people were arrested during a high profile strike day in St Helens in November 2016.
Ten people have already been dealt with and sentenced at court.
Today, at Liverpool Crown Court, the remaining seven were jailed for a total of over 19 years for a variety of drug related offences.
Robert Nathaniel Wenton, 35, of Threadneedle Court, St Helens, was charged with conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine and was jailed for six years.
William Stephen Osu, 25, of Admiral Street, Liverpool, was charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine and was jailed for four years.
Katie Rawson, 34, of Threadneedle Court, St Helens, was charged with conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine and was jailed for two years and six months.
Dean Weaver, 25, of Peterlee Close, St Helens, was charged with two counts of supplying heroin and two counts of supply crack cocaine and was jailed for three years and four months.
A 17 year-old male, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with three counts of supplying heroin and three counts of supplying crack cocaine and was given a two year rehabilitation order.
Michael Eccleston, 18, of Colesborne Road, Liverpool, was charged with four counts of supplying heroin and five counts of supplying crack cocaine and was jailed for one year and four months.
Calum Ogden, 21, of Hempstead Close, St Helens, was charged with three counts of supplying heroin and three counts of supplying crack cocaine and was jailed for two years and four months.
Six of the defendants pleaded guilty. Katie Rawson was found guilty following a trial earlier this month.
A further 10 suspects were jailed earlier this year as part of the same operation.
TDetective Sergeant Steven O’Neill said: “Organised crime groups like this, who deal in the wholesale supply and distribution of controlled drugs, don’t care about the impact that supply of drugs has in our communities.
“But I would like to reassure the decent members of our communities that Merseyside Police is committed to tackling the supply of drugs and we will continue to proactively tackle criminal gangs who think nothing of flooding the streets with dangerous drugs in order to profit from other people’s misery.
“The main focus of this operation was to reduce the likelihood of the children being criminally exploited and hopefully today’s sentencing will prevent other children and juveniles from becoming embroiled in a life of drug dealing and criminality.
“Feedback following the operation has highlighted the positive impact it has had on the area. Today’s sentences will further assist by removing the main core of the crime group that was operating in the area.”
Anyone with information about drug dealing in their community can call Merseyside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.