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Colchester: Four men jailed for drugs conspiracy

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Brought to justice

16:22 21/05/2021

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Pictured: Jake Gregory and Jake Holliday

Four men have been jailed for a total of 30 years and three months for selling drugs in north Essex.

They processed the drugs at a house in Halstead, before putting them in glass jars and burying them in two rural locations in Colchester.

They’d then retrieve them from the hiding places to process and sell on.

Officers found 2.5kg of drugs with an estimated the street value of up to £180,000 between September and December 2019.

However, the criminals are thought to have handled double that amount of drugs during the period of the police investigation between June and December.

Jake Gregoryran the group and James Martin allowed them to process drugs at his home in Trinity Street, Halstead.

William Locke and Jake Holliday were the runners who retrieved drugs from the hiding places and sold them on.

All four were arrested on 11 December 2019.

They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine on 17 January 2020 at Ipswich Crown Court and were sentenced today, Friday 21 May.

Holliday had also admitted possession with intent to supply cocaine for a separate offence in April 2019, officers seized cocaine and £2,500. And he had admitted possession with intent to supply cannabis after bags of herbal cannabis were seized from a car he was driving in April 2018.

Gregory, 28, of no fixed address, was jailed for nine years and four months.

Holliday, 26, of Devon Road, Colchester, was jailed for eight years and eight months.

Martin, 44, formerly of Trinity Street, Halstead, and Locke, 23, of no fixed address, were both sentenced to six years and three months.

Gregory and Holliday were made subject of Serious Crime Prevention Orders, which come into force upon their release from prison.

Hearings for similar orders against Martin and Locke will be held in due course.

Pictured: William Locke and James Martin

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Nelson said:

“Today’s court hearing is the conclusion of a lengthy investigation to dismantle an organised crime group involved in drugs and firearms.
“Four other members were previously jailed in the last six months for firearms offences, and together these eight individuals have been given sentences totalling more than 59 years.
“Our officers work tirelessly to bring criminals such as these to justice and to keep our communities safe from weapons and drugs.
“Fortunately few people will ever be affected by this type of crime, and we’re committed to keeping it that way.”