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Thirteen jailed over Merseyside multi-million pound drugs conspiracy

by Rebecca Pocklington. Published Thu 09 Aug 2012 09:45, last updated: 09/08/12
John Cooke
John Cooke

A drugs gang were jailed yesterday for 152 years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs to a multitude of crime bosses across the UK.

The gang, consisting of 12 men and a woman, were believed to have seized drugs worth around £1million as well as £37,000 cash.

They were sentenced in Liverpool Crown Court, and the group included seven from Merseyside.

The leader of the group, John Cooke, 32, of Walmer Road, Birkdale, received 17 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply controlled drugs on March 12.

The drug leader was believed to live a very welathy lifestyle, with his home and belongings showing a high level of affluence.

It's believed he bought Class A drugs from suppliers and sold them on to major regional drug dealers in Scotland, South Wales, Lancashire and Cheshire.

The Titan organised crime agency worked out the complex web created by this gang in an investigation called Operation Knot.

Alongside Cooke, James Swarez, 44, of Queens Road, Crosby, was also sentenced to 17 years.

Swarez was believed to help Cooke with the buying and supplying of the drugs, largely from another member of the gang, Paul McDonald.

McDonald, 44, of Fernbank Road, Huyton received 15 years along with his assistant and driver Brian Harrison, 50, of Harefield Green, Speke, who was jailed for six years and eight months.

A forensic examination of the recovered drugs indicates that mixing of the drugs took place prior to distribution.

These four men, along with a fifth, John Wildman, 40, of Alans Way, Kirkby, were all arrested in a coordinated planned operation.

Wildman was jailed for nine years and four months and the five were all charged the following day with conspiracy to supply cocaine and diamorphine.

Among the others, David Jolly, 44, of Enfield Close, Chorley, was jailed for 12 years after transporting the drugs and money up and down the country and being found in posession of the drugs.

David Law, 53, of Sheldon Road, West Derby, was jailed for 10 years and eight months for possession with intent to supply and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

He was arrested just minutes from Swarez’s house in posession of 3kg of high purity cocaine.

Jonathon Earley, 46, of Crompton Street, Kirkdale, received six years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs along with Jonathon Cromwell, 36, of Stanway Place, Ely, Cardiff.

On December 6, 2011, a warrant was executed at James Beck's house on Ward Street, Preston.

He denied any involvement with drugs supply but was charged with the drugs conspiracy the next day and jailed for 13 years.

Roseanne McCreadie and Edward McCreadie were both arrested around the same time.

Roseanne McCreadie, 32, of Dukes Road, Rutherglen, Glasgow received nine years whereas Edward McCreadie, 54, of Menteith Drive, Rutherglen, Glasgow, received 12 years and eight months.

On December 20, 2011, Gordon Smith, of Menzies Drive, Glasgow, was arrested and later charged on January 12, 2012 with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

He received 12 years imprisonment.

Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson from Titan said: "Today's sentences reflect the severity of the scourge of drugs on our streets.

"While some of the gang were used as couriers, others such as Cooke, Swarez, McDonald and Harrison were at the top of the hierarchy of this group and their lifestyles show they have made huge amounts of money through their criminal activities.

"The methods used to distribute the drugs show a level of sophistication.

"They are now facing a considerable amount of time behind bars and will be stripped of all their ill-gotten gains sending a strong message to anyone involved in organised crime, or thinking of getting involved, that no-one is untouchable and you will be found and brought to justice."

"Titan will continue to target all those involved in organised crime and take robust action against them to protect our communities across the North West."


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