An organized crime group have been sentenced to 16 years in prison as part of a large-scale drug operation

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Lester Purdy, aged 66, of Station Road, Ide, pleaded guilty in Exeter Crown Court on 13 October to conspiracy to supply Class A controlled drugs and of possession of MDMA (ecstasy) and cannabis and was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison.
Jake Purdy aged 25, also of Station Road, Ide, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A controlled drugs and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
Julian Eslick, aged 46, of Cliff Bastin Close, Exeter, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply a Class A controlled drugs and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Trevor Forbes, aged 58, of Brasenose Driftway, Oxford, pleaded guilty to money laundering and was sentenced to one year in prison.
The police operation was launched in early 2020 into the organised crime group.
Officers conducted a drug warrant at an address in Ide, Exeter, on Monday 11 May. As a result, the four men were arrested and thousands of pounds worth of Class A drugs, cash and firearms were seized. Police seized £74,000 in cash at the Exeter Motorway Services and located two kilograms of cocaine buried in woods at Ide with a street value of £200,000.
Over the following months, police located further lockups which had been used by the gang.
The investigation team also discovered that since February 2019, around £260,000 had been laundered.
The total sum of drugs and proceeds well exceed half a million pounds.
Det Insp Dave Egan said: “The operation into this large conspiracy to supply drugs was managed by Exeter CID. The large pre-planned firearms operation in May led to the arrest of two members of the Purdy family who were in possession of 2kg of Cocaine, around £74,000 cash, 1 x Range Rover, 1 x Jaguar, 2 x deactivated firearms and various other criminality – including the possession of encrypted mobile devices.
“The large-scale operation had a significant impact on the otherwise quiet and safe village of Ide and members of the community have been supportive of the police operation throughout.
“The investigation team have worked tirelessly for over six months since the arrests collating evidence and progressing associated caseloads whilst linking in with the community.
“My thanks and recognition goes out to all involved for this result today. The Investigation demonstrates that even during periods of Covid lockdown, Devon and Cornwall Police will continue to safely investigate serious drugs offences and bring offenders to justice.”