A proactive investigation by Surrey Police has jailed a gang of wholesale drug dealers who were responsible for distributing cocaine, cannabis and MDMA across the south east.
The sentencing follows a long-term investigation by the Force’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit who put together a thorough and robust evidential case, which reflected the high level of organisation and criminality of this group of five who were jailed for a total of 27 and a half years years at Kingston Crown Court today (July 26).
Highlights of the case include:
The seizure of 1kg of cocaine, 5kg of cannabis and 500 MDMA (ecstacy) pills.
The leader, Scott Linegar, spent £68k on holiday and travel and had £138k in cash credits through his bank account while police were investigating him.
Two stun gun used to threaten and intimidate were recovered, including one disguised as a mobile phone.
At least £500k worth of drugs passed through the gang in two-year conspiracy period.
Used 69-year-old father-in-law as his main runner to drop off drugs around south east – video shows moment of his arrest and when a 1kg package of cocaine is found under his car seat.
Head of the Serious and Organised Crime Unit Detective Inspector Gareth Hicks said: “Scott Linegar was the head of this group who have been responsible for dealing drugs on a wholesale level across north Surrey and the south east.
“Dismantling this group is a huge result for us and the public of Surrey as they were at the top of the pyramid as far as distributing through their networks was concerned. Taking them out of the market dries up a supply chain through at least three of four levels before it would have got onto the streets, where ultimately the greatest harm occurs.
“Linegar is the man who orchestrated the whole organisation, and through possession of a stun gun disguised as a mobile phone, to intimidate others as he saw fit in order to further his criminal business interests and enforce drug related debts. He profited the most through this enterprise and as far as his recent history goes not had a legitimate job. He lived in a detached privately rented house, living a life of luxury including spending more than £68k in two years on holidays and travel.
We believe that the cash transactions through his account are the tip of the iceberg and we will be pursuing him and the others through the Proceeds of Crime Act.
“Oldfield, as Linegar’s father-in-law was the main runner involved in this conspiracy, doing all the dirty work on his behalf. At 69-years-old he and Linegar probably thought the police wouldn’t ever think someone of his age would be involved in something like this and as such would be beyond suspicion and the perfect front.”
The gang and who did what
The five people who have been sentenced are listed below with their charges and involvement in the operation:
15 years – Scott Anthony Linegar, 39, of Lower Green Gardens, Worcester Park – conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, cocaine and MDMA, conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, cannabis, and converting criminal property, between January 1 2015 and April 21, 2017.
Linegar played the leading, organisational role in the offences, effectively running the business by negotiating wholesale drugs supplies and giving clear direction to others when making arrangements relating to the supply of drugs and the criminal proceed
7 years – Alan Oldfield, 69, Spreighton Road, West Molesey – conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, cocaine and MDMA, conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, cannabis, and converting criminal property, between January 1 2015 and April 21, 2017.
Oldfield is involved in all of the operational aspects of the business including collection, transportation, storage, preparation and onward distribution of drugs and deals with everything concerning the criminal proceeds.
8 months suspended for 18 months and a 4 month curfew order – Mark Foster, 54, Plough Road, Smallfield – conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, cannabis and possessing criminal property.
Foster acted as a cannabis supply line to Linegar and Oldfield. On the day that Mitten was arrested in possession of 1kg of cannabis, Oldfield had met with Foster beforehand and took a heavily laden bin bag from him.
5 and a half years – Brett Anthony Hilton, 43, of Windermere Road, Lightwater – conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, cocaine and possessing criminal property.
Hilton is a cocaine supply line to Linegar and Oldfield. He has been seen to meet Oldfield on a number of occasions. On one occasion Oldfield was stopped a short time later and found to be in possession of 1kg of drugs.
4 months suspended for 12 months and a 3 month curfew order – Darren Mitten, 39, Bailiff Street, Northampton – possessing criminal property, conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, cannabis.
Mitten received cannabis from Lineger and Oldfield. He was part of the conspiracy of to supply Class B drugs because of his involvement on the day of his arrest when he was directly supply with 1kg of cannabis by Oldfield who had been told to do so by Lineger.
On April 20 uniformed officers stopped Oldfield in his car in Hampton and he was arrested having admitted to having a block of cocaine underneath his seat. Later that day Linegar was arrested in Banstead.
Oldfield’s address was searched and a number of bags of cannabis were found, as well as bags of MDMA, a stun gun concealed inside a mobile phone box, scales, and a dealer’s list.
A search was also made of a shed where Oldfield had also known to spend time, and found inside were more bags of cannabis.
On separate occasions later that week Hilton and Mitten were arrested. Foster’s address was also searched, while he was away on holiday and he was arrested at Gatwick Airport when he returned home in early May.
Analysis of Linegar’s bank account showed that over a 2-year period he had £138,000 in cash credits, despite having no declared employment history since 2012. He also spent £68k on holidays and more than £98k on rent of his Worcester Park home in that same two-year period.