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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Drugs gang members sentenced at Carlisle court

Members of a drug ring who intended to flood parts of Cumbria with illegal drugs have been jailed for a combined total of 73 years.

Drugs gang photo
Members of the gang

The crime group, which planned to sell class A and B drugs across west Cumbria, were stopped by officers from Cumbria police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit.

The investigation, code-named Operation Arrow, has now seen 12 people convicted of drug-related crimes – some of whom have been jailed for as long as 14 years.

Although most were sentenced in February after pleading guilty, details could not be released until the final member – who denied the charges – had been dealt with by Carlisle Crown Court.

James Moore, 33 years, of Casson Road, Workington has now been found guilty of assisting in the supply of Class A or B controlled drugs and jailed for four years.

Cumbria police has now released details of the other 11 members of the drugs ring and their sentences.

  • Gary Rickerby, 41, of Washington Street, Workington, received the longest prison sentence – 14 years – for conspiracy to supply Class A and B controlled drugs.
  • His brother George Kelly, also known as Blacklock, 42, of Shotley Gardens, Gateshead, was jailed for 13 years and six months for conspiracy to supply Class A and B controlled drugs.
  • Lee Iceton, 32, of Calder Drive, Workington, was jailed for 10 years for conspiracy to supply Class A and B controlled drugs.
  • Kevin Hewson, 30 years, of Cheviot Gardens, Gateshead, received an eight-year prison sentence for conspiracy to supply Class A and B controlled drugs
  • Daniel Cregg, 37, of Park Lane, Oswaldtwistle, Accrington, was jailed for six years for conspiracy to supply Class A controlled drugs
  • Gary Rickerby’s son Ashley Rickerby, 23, of Casson Road, Workington, received a five-year prison sentence for conspiracy to supply Class A and B controlled drugs.
  • Scott Daglish, 52, of Lonsdale Place, Flimby, was jailed for four years and eight months for conspiracy to supply Class A controlled drugs and possession of a Class B controlled drug.
  • David Bragg, 31, of Seven Acres, Parton, will serve four years in prison for conspiracy to supply Class A and B controlled drugs.
  • Ashley Rickerby’s partner, Kelly MacDonald, 21, of Casson Road, Workington, received a two-year suspended jail sentence for encouraging/assisting in the commission of an offence.
  • Her dad, Gregor MacDonald, 45, of Grasmere Road, Workington, also received 18 months in jail for encouraging/assisting in the commission of an offence.
  • Gregg Crawford, 44, of Oxford Road, Huyton, Liverpool, received two nine-month jail terms, which were suspended, for permitting the production of drugs and concealing criminal property.

The investigation into the drug ring was launched in May 2013 and involved officers from Cumbria and Northumbria’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit.

The gang was placed under close surveillance for a number of months, during which a number of significant seizures of money and drugs were made.

This led to a coordinated arrest operation, involving more than 40 officers, on July 22, 2013.

During the investigation, cocaine, amphetamine and mephedrone with a street value of over £550,000 was intercepted as it was trafficked from the north west and north east into west Cumbria.

Police also seized over 60 kilos of benzocaine – which can be used to mix cocaine. Given the amount, it had the potential yield of between £1.3m and £1.7 million worth of cocaine.

Senior Investigating Officer, Temporary Detective Superintendent Rob O’Connor, said: “This was a concerted effort by those involved to traffic significant amounts of cocaine, amphetamine and mephedrone onto the streets of west Cumbria.

“The recovery of over half a million pounds worth of drugs during last summer demonstrates the determination of Cumbria Constabulary to ensure that the people who pose the greatest risk to our communities will be targeted.

“We will work tirelessly to take them off the streets and put them before the courts.

“Once again the courts have handed down lengthy sentences to those involved, in particular to those who sit at the top and were the main organisers.

“Gary Rickerby was still on license having been released from a previous sentence for drugs offences, yet driven by pure greed he orchestrated the supply of drugs into west Cumbria form his associates in Lancashire, and via his brother in the north east. He will now serve a lengthy custodial sentence, and will have plenty of time in prison to reflect on his actions.”

He added that they would now use proceeds of crime legislation to strip the assets of those involved.

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