Detective Sergeant Darren Gray said: “This investigation has been incredibly complex and multi –faceted, and has involved working closely with both Merseyside and Cheshire Police, as well as the Regional Organised Crime Unit and the National Crime Agency, to thoroughly and comprehensively collate and gather evidence to build a strong case to present before the courts.
“From this time, both overt and covert action has taken place with extensive enquiries carried out as part of the investigation, which ultimately led to the simultaneous execution of three warrants on Thursday, 21 March last year in Grimsby, Liverpool and Warrington, which resulted in the arrests of the ringleaders.”
Also arrested and charged with the same offences were Scott Hendry, 27, of Longshaw Street, who controlled the local, and non-local, drug runners in Grimsby and Andres Vassou, 30, of Queens Drive, Stoneycroft, who was the transportation to resupply the drugs, travelling between Liverpool and Grimsby by car and train.
Top row, left to right – Scott Hendry, Andres Vassou
Pictured top right:
Top row, left to right – Jordan West, Leslie Aytoun, Craig Owen
Bottom row, left to right – Lisa Michaelson, Trevor Willoughby, Dean Hall
Entering a guilty plea to conspiracy to supply class A drugs between September 2017 and March 2019, and also threatening unlawful violence towards another in August 2019 at an earlier court hearing, Craig Owen, 32 of Overton Court, Barton, was sentenced today to three-years and nine-months behind bars.
From Hull, Jordan West, 27, of Meltonby Avenue and Korban Price, 20, of NFA, both also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs between September 2017 and March 2019. West was sentenced today to two-years and three months in prison. Sentencing for Price has been deferred to a later date.
Also from the Cheshire force area, Jamie Shaw, also known as Jamie Blythe, 23, of Pine Road, Runcorn, along with two men from the Merseyside force area, Lee Healey, also known as Lee Blackburn, 33, of Centenary Close, Liverpool and Reece Navarro, 21, of Hillside Road, Liverpool, were all charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs between September 2017 and March 2019.
DS Gray added: “We know the effect that drugs and the associated crime and antisocial behaviour that comes with it has on our communities, and it brings misery to residents in the areas these groups think they can set up business, more often than not exploiting children and vulnerable people in order to line their own pockets.
“We will not tolerate any type of organised crime and I hope the final result today sends out a very clear message to anyone who is involved in the supply of drugs and dealing, or anyone who is thinking about becoming involved, that we will not stop in our efforts to dismantle your groups and disrupt your criminality.
“While you might not see the results straight away, as with this case, you can feel rest assured that the information you provide us is vital in piecing together successful operations, and with your help, we can collate the intelligence we need to continue to target those behind the crimes and take action against them to really make a difference.”