Operation Nemesis: Drug ring sentenced to 132 years in prison

A major drugs operation has been thwarted after officers tracked two gang members’ movements for four years to several organised crime groups (OCGs).

Oct 10, 2017

A major drugs operation has been thwarted after officers tracked two gang members’ movements for four years to several organised crime groups (OCGs). Twenty-three members of five OCGs were sentenced to a total of 132 at Stafford Crown Court between October 3 and October 5. The court heard the gangs – based in Cannock, Walsall, Redditch, Swadlincote, Stafford and Swindon – were transporting cocaine and class B synthetic stimulant MCAT through the group’s links in Derbyshire and the West Midlands. Officers traced the movements of two gang leaders – John Appleton and Michael O’Mahoney – after they were released from prison in 2013. Following their release, Appleton and O’Mahoney formed a group based in Cannock with others trusted to courier drugs and cash between the gangs. A number of deals between the OCGs were infiltrated using phone analysis and tracking vehicle movements along the M6 and M5. On February 28, 2015, arrests were made when a quantity of cocaine and two kilograms of MCAT were supplied to the Swindon group near junction 11A of the M5 in Gloucestershire. On March 4, 2015, a driver for the Cannock group was stopped and £35,000 was found in the car’s footwell. Fingerprints were discovered on one of the cash bags, which linked the Redditch and Swindon groups. Bayley was due to meet a member of the West Midlands group on March 16, 2015, when he was intercepted and arrested with a bag containing four kilograms of MCAT. The Cannock crime group was also proven to have well-established links with Gareth Pincombe, head of the Derbyshire gang. Appleton and O’Mahoney were sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment while others were handed sentences ranging from three to eight years. Inspector Pete Cooke, of Staffordshire Police`s Major and Organised Crime team, said: “These sentences reflect the commitment and hard work of officers. We`re delighted to see offenders who have preyed on the vulnerable in our communities behind bars for a considerable period of time. “All of them played a significant role in fuelling drug crime in south Staffordshire and elsewhere across the Midlands and South West and their sentences are very much welcomed. “Staffordshire Police is committed to tackling drug crime in our communities and our work will continue under Operation Nemesis.” Those sentenced: John Appleton, 46, from Cannock, sentenced to 14 years. Michael O` Mahoney, 43, from Cannock, sentenced to 14 years. Gary Peapell, 38, from Swindon, sentenced to eight years and eight months. Adam Farmer, 35, from Redditch, sentenced to eight years and six months. Shane Andrews, 35, from Stafford, sentenced to eight years. Gareth Pincombe, 38, from Swadlincote, sentenced to eight years and two months. Jason Bayley, 45, from Cannock, sentenced to eight years. Carol Pope, 44, from Cannock, sentenced to seven years and two months. Darren Pearson, 46, from Cannock, sentenced to seven years and two months. Jamie Wilson, 38, from Stafford, sentenced to six years and nine months. Keith Peapell, 62, from Swindon, sentenced to six years. Russell Degg, 40, from Cannock, sentenced to six years. Scott Kenny, 32, from Rugby, sentenced to five years and four months. Lewis Chambers, 26, from Walsall, sentenced to four years. Lucy Butler, 35, from Featherstone, sentenced to four years. Richard Menzies, 33, from Swadlincote, sentenced to three years and seven months. Jamie Sleigh, 37, from Cannock, sentenced to three years and seven months. David Perkins, 31, from Redditch, sentenced to three years and four months. Bret Appleton, 25, from Cannock, sentenced to 20 months. Derek Hodgkiss, 56, from Cannock, received a 17-month suspended sentence. Lee Higgins, 32, from Redditch, received an 11-month suspended sentence. Matthew Parsons, 34, from Rugely, sentenced to three years and six months. Kyle Wilson, 19, from Stafford, sentenced to 14 months’ detention in a youth offenders’ institution.

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