Police welcome sentences given to gang of dealers

Police outside Blake's nightclub in Gravesend after a car drove down the alleyway next to the club and crashed into a marquee injuring a number of people. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

NATIONAL: Revellers injured after car driven into nightclub

Have your say

A GANG of men that brought drugs in to Portsmouth have been sentenced to a total of 19 years and four months in prison.

Troy Clack, 20, of Laundry Road, Southampton, Simon Simpson, 32, of Langport Avenue, Manchester, Dale Carroll, 23, of Mansfield Avenue, Blackley, Sonny Elms, 20, of Manordale Walk, Collyhurst, Robert Guilfoyle, 21, of Stablys Dolcoath, Camborne, Cornwall, Jake Newson, 20, of Mount Gould Road, Plymouth, and Ryan Poole, 24, of Clough Road, Manchester, were arrested in September 2011.

They were charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in connection with a organised cell dealing drugs on the streets of Hampshire, Dorset, Sussex and Devon and Cornwall between 2006 and 2011.

The arrests were carried out under Operation Asquith, which targeted members of the drug gang, who were setting up and co-ordinating drug cells in Hampshire, and across the south to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

The investigation revealed that Simpson was the head of the organisation, who recruited the others to set up the drug supply in various towns along the south coast.

Hampshire Constabulary’s Major Investigation Team co-ordinated arrests in Plymouth, Southampton, Manchester and Sheffield, carried out by Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, South Yorkshire Police and Greater Manchester Police officers.

Detective Sergeant Ross Toms said: ‘It took a thorough and lengthy investigation to identify this criminal gang, which had previously avoided detection by internally secreting class A drugs when travelling from Manchester to the south coast.

‘I sincerely hope the result we’ve seen goes some way to reassure people living and working in Hampshire that we take a hard line on drug dealing and will always push for conviction.

‘This should serve as a warning to others that drug dealers are not tolerated in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

‘We are committed to making the two counties a hostile environment for criminals, especially those who bring with them the kind of misery and additional crime that goes hand in hand with drugs and their supply.’

More than 100 officers from across five police forces involved in the operation, executed warrants in Plymouth, Southampton, Shefflield and Manchester, shortly after 7am on September 15, 2011.

The arrests came after a lengthy investigation which led police to a drug dealing network originating in Manchester and operating across the south of England.

If you’re concerned about drug dealing or drug-related violence call 101.