MEMBERS of a drugs ring which flooded our streets with heroin and cocaine are facing lengthy jail sentences.
The seven men were arrested in connection with a co-ordinated gang distributing drugs on the streets of Hampshire, Dorset, Sussex and Devon and Cornwall.
The arrests targeted key members of an organised drug dealing network, based in Manchester, which was setting up drug cells across the south to supply crack cocaine and heroin.
Hampshire Constabulary’s Major Investigation Team led 100 officers from five forces in dawn raids at addresses in Plymouth, Southampton, Manchester and Sheffield on September 15, 2011.
It revealed that Simon Simpson, 32, of Langport Avenue in Manchester, was the gang’s leader and recruited others to set up supply routes and sell the drugs across the coast, including in Portsmouth.
As well as Simpson, Dale Carroll, 23, of Mansfield Avenue, Blackley, Greater Manchester, Sonny Elms, 20, of Manordale Walk, Collyhurst, Greater Manchester, Troy Clack, 20, of Laundry Road, Southampton, Robert Guilfoyle, 21, of Stablys Dolcoath, Camborne, Cornwall, Jake Newson, 20, of Mount Gould Road, Plymouth, Devon, and Ryan Poole, 24, of Clough Road, Manchester, will be sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court on January 25. They have all pleaded guilty to charges relating to creating sales and distributing class A drugs.
Detective Sergeant Ross Toms of Hampshire Major Investigation Team said: ‘This was a lengthy investigation into a criminal gang which had previously avoided detection by secreting Class A drugs when travelling from Manchester to the south coast. Drug dealing, drug use and associated crime cause nothing but devastation and misery.
‘We do not tolerate drug dealers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and I hope the forthcoming sentencing of these individuals combined with the previous operations on the same organised crime gang will send a clear message to those involved in organised crime that they will be caught and we will push for conviction.’
In early 2011 officers targeted the Portsmouth branch of the gang. Seven suspects were convicted of bringing large quantities of heroin through Amsterdam and selling it to the streets of Portsmouth. They were sentenced to a total of 35 years in prison.