Organised Crime Gang jailed for supplying cocaine across Newcastle

Dated: 11 Oct 2017 11:00 AM

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An organised crime group have been jailed after a conspiracy to supply class A drugs in Newcastle.

The gang have been put behind bars for a total of 16-and-a-half years after a surveillance operation uncovered a large-scale operation in the west end of the city.

Officers from the Newcastle West Neighbourhood Policing Team, spent five months watching the drug gang operate out of a number of addresses in Benwell.

In total the officers watched as 6,500 people visited the gang to purchase cocaine.

After gathering the evidence they needed police carried out late night raids in February last year and arrested a total of ten suspects. 

Police seized a quantity of drugs wrapped in cupcake casings as well as a huge hoard of weapons including six air weapons, 90 knives, half a dozen axes, knuckle dusters and crossbows.

Five men were later charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs and they later admitted the offences at court.

Knives in benwell

And on Tuesday afternoon they were all jailed by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court. They are:

-           Michael Conroy, 38, of Sungold Villas, Newcastle, was jailed for five years six months.

-           Walter Henderson, 53, of Meldon Terrace, Newcastle, was jailed for three years.

-           Paul Basey, 50, of Armstrong Road, Newcastle, was jailed for four years.

-           Karl Greenwell, 37, of Benwell Lane, Newcastle, was jailed for two years. 

-           Barry Newton, 26, Newton Street, Haltwhistle, was jailed for two years.

Now Chief inspector Barrie Joisce, who led the investigation into the drug gang, has praised the hard work of the officers who eventually brought them to justice.

He said: "This organised crime gang thought they were untouchable, that they were above the law and that they would never get caught.

"Their drug dealing made their neighbours' lives a living hell and the anti-social behaviour linked to their dealing had a significant impact on the local community.

"The operation they ran was sophisticated and it took a lot of hard work from our officers to carry out months of surveillance work.

"In the end it was our own operation that brought them back down to earth and we welcome the custodial sentences handed out today.

"The sheer volume of weapons we seized from one of the properties shows just how dangerous these individuals were and the threat they posed to society.

"Newcastle is a safer place with these individuals behind bars and we hope it sends a strong message to the public - nobody is untouchable and nobody is above the law."

As part of the operation closure orders were also issued on four premises involved in the organised criminal activity.

This saw a number of residents connected to the criminal activity evicted with the assistance of Newcastle City Council.