Gang who made £3.3m flooding streets with cocaine told to pay money back
Written by The Newsroom on September 6, 2019
Members of a huge drugs gang who ‘earned’ more than £3.3 million by flooding the streets with cocaine and MCAT have been ordered to repay their ill-gotten gains.
The 23 members of the major Midlands drugs network, which consisted of five organised crime gangs based in Walsall, Cannock and Stafford, Redditch and Swadlincote, were jailed in October last year after they admitted conspiracy to supply either class A or class B drugs.
Following the court case, £41,000 in cash and cocaine, mephedrone, cannabis plants, ethylphenidate, benzocaine and BK-MDEA – with a street value of £300,859 – were seized by police.
However, Staffordshire Police then carried out an investigation into the gang’s finances, including a calculation of how much each earned from their criminal activity and the value of their current assets.
(Image: Staffordshire Police)
Investigators asked the courts to impose orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act setting a sum they believe each member could pay, taking into account any cash or valuables they might have.
The final orders were secured against ringleaders John Appleton and Michael O’Mahoney at Shrewsbury Crown Court on August 22.
Appleton, 48, of Locketts Court, Cannock, was calculated to have benefited to the tune of £647,478.60 but has been ordered to cough up £50,681.92 or face a default prison sentence of 30 months.
Meanwhile O’Mahone, 45, of Avenue Road, Cannock, must pay back £90,450.75 – a fraction of the £475,235.66 he is believed to have benefited from. He also faces a default sentence of 30 months if the cash goes unpaid.
The court made the following orders:
- John Appleton, 48, of Locketts Court, Cannock, was jailed for 14 years. Criminal benefit £647,478.60, with £50,681.92 to pay
- Michael O’Mahoney, 45, of Avenue Road, Cannock was jailed for 14 years. Criminal benefit £475,235.66, with £90,450.75 to pay
- Gary Peapell, of Swindon, was jailed for eight years, eight months. Criminal benefit £309,349.61 with £1,905 to pay (paid)
- Adam Farmer, of Kineton Close, Redditch, was jailed for eight years, six months. Criminal benefit £234,030 with £143,694.58 to pay (paid)
- Gareth Pincombe, of Repton Road, Swadlincote, was jailed for eight years, two months. Criminal benefit £174,134.19 with £2,604.10 to pay
- Jason Bayley, of Leamington Close, Cannock, was jailed for eight years. Criminal benefit £118,888.50 with £56,915.05 to pay
- Shane Andrews, of John Donne Street, Stafford, was jailed for eight years. Criminal benefit £40,970.00 with £745 to pay (paid)
- Carol Pope, of Glover Street, Cannock, was jailed for seven years, two months. Criminal benefit £100,630 with £35,890 to pay (paid)
- Darren Pearson, of Moss Street, Cannock, was jailed for seven years, two months. Criminal benefit £32,256 with £23.46 to pay
- Jamie Wilson, of Sidney Avenue, Cannock, was jailed for six years, nine months. Criminal benefit £44,085 with £14,044.57 to pay (paid)
- Keith Peapell, of Swindon, was jailed for six years. Criminal benefit £296,534.31 with £6,124.70 to pay (paid)
- Russell Degg, of Repton Close, Cannock, was jailed for six years. Criminal benefit £500,000 with £69 to pay (paid)
- Lewis Chambers, of Hillary Street, Walsall, was jailed for four years. Criminal benefit £41,420.00 with £2,339.32 to pay (paid)
- Lucy Butler, of Sanderling Close, Featherstone, was jailed for four years. Criminal benefit £6,000 with £145 to pay (paid)
- Scott Kenny, of Rugby, was jailed for five years , four months. Criminal benefit £47,785 with £11,384 to pay (paid)
- Jamie Sleigh, of St John’s Road, Cannock, was jailed for three years, seven months. Criminal benefit £31,121.79 with £10 to pay (paid)
- Richard Menzies of Swadlincote, was jailed for three years, seven months. Criminal benefit £95,572.48 with £22,288.51 to pay
- Matthew Parsons, of Lower Birches Way, Rugeley, was jailed for three years, six months. Criminal benefit £15,000 with £15,000 to pay (paid)
- David Perkins, of Redditch, was jailed for three years, four months. Criminal benefit £31,346.16 with £1,586.90 to pay (paid)
- Brett Appleton, of Locketts Court, Cannock, was jailed for 20 months. Criminal benefit £45,000 with £1,177.96 to pay (paid)
- Derek Hodgkiss, of St John’s Road, Cannock, was give a 17 months suspended sentence. Criminal benefit £35,170 with £406.31 to pay (paid)
- Kyle Wilson, of Merrivale Road, Stafford, was jailed for 14 months. Criminal benefit £2,254.31 with £185.31 to pay (paid)
- Lee Higgins, of Redditch, was give an 11 months suspended sentence.Criminal benefit £3,200 with £5.07 to pay (paid)
Inspector Rob Harvmann, of Staffordshire Police, said: “All of these offenders played a role in fuelling drug crime in south Staffordshire and elsewhere across the Midlands and South West.
“It has taken a great deal of tenacity and attention to detail to obtain confiscation orders that allows the recovery of their assets. Should they fail to pay, default sentences will be imposed ensuring they cannot continue with their criminal enterprise.”
“Staffordshire Police is committed to seizing and confiscating assets from those who benefit from any criminality in particular drug trafficking in our communities.”
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