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Preston drugs gang who blighted Fishwick and Callon jailed

Posted on - 2nd June, 2016 - 3:01pm | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Fishwick, News, Preston City Centre, Ribbleton
From top left, clockwise: James Wilkinson, Ryan Blakey, Josua Knowles, Wayne Small, Kasib Hussain and Mark Watkins

From top left, clockwise: James Wilkinson, Ryan Blakey, Josua Knowles, Wayne Small, Kasib Hussain and Mark Watkins

Six Preston men have been jailed for their part in a drugs gang who ferried substances between the city and Liverpool.

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Lancashire Police have hailed the conviction of the gang who supplied class A drugs worth £1.2m.

An eleven month investigation found how drugs were being couriered into Preston and exchanged in cars around the city or at linchpin Anthony Watkins’ property in Preston.

Using a network of six mobile phones the drugs were split to street level dealers who then messaged thousands of contacts in the area advertising what quantity and quality of drugs were available.

Mixing agents for the drugs were hidden ‘rural hides’ in land between Callon estate and Fishwick Golf Club.

Drugs found in a hide in Fishwick bottoms, a rifle and ammunition recovered, and bottom left, a bundle of Class A drugs

Drugs found in a hide in Fishwick bottoms, a rifle and ammunition recovered, and bottom left, a bundle of Class A drugs

What Preston Police had to say

Detective Inspector Pete Danby who led the investigation said: “The sentences handed down to these men are the culmination of a long and complex investigation carried out by the Targeted Crime Unit.

“The investigation established that this gang were responsible for a major drugs supply network incorporating all levels of drug dealing, from street level up to cross-border trafficking over a sustained period of time.

“These individuals caused significant problems on the streets of Preston as a result of their drug dealing and other criminality. I hope the fact that these men have now been jailed reassures local residents that we are committed to tackling organised crime on this scale, in turn helping to make their streets a safer place to live.

“Drugs cause serious harm to our communities and we will not tolerate the supply of drugs anywhere in our county and further afield. These sentences should also serve as a warning to those who are involved in such criminality – we will continue to dismantle drugs supply networks by bringing those responsible to justice.”

Related: Watch undercover footage showing how Preston drugs gang were caught

Preston men jailed

Mark Watkins, 24, of Merrick Ave, Preston, charged with and pleaded guilty to; Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Drug (Cocaine). He has been sentenced to six years and nine months in prison.

Wayne Small, 47, of New Hall Lane, Preston was charged with and pleaded guilty to; conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin. He has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Joshua Knowles, 19, of Gammull Lane, Ribbleton, Preston, was charged with and pleaded guilty to; conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin. He has been sentenced to four years and four months in prison.

Ryan Blakey, 18, of Lawson Street, Preston was charged with and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin. He has been sentenced to three years and 45 days in prison.

Kasib Hussain, 35, of Burrow Road, Preston, charged with and pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Drug (Cocaine) and heroin. He has been sentenced to eight years and one month in prison.

James Wilkinson, 27, of Cotty Brook Close, Preston pleaded guilty to assisting an offender. He has been sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Read more: Avenham Park drugs gang jailed

The Liverpool connection

A further five men of no fixed address and three from Liverpool have also been jailed – as the gang got a total of almost 90 years. A 17-year-old boy frpom Preston was also sentenced to two years and 299 days in prison for supplying crack cocaine and heroin.

The men active in Preston but listed as of no fixed address are:

From top left, clockwise: Jason Jackson, Anthony Watson, Matthew Botham, Daniel McGuinness and Sam Knowles

From top left, clockwise: Jason Jackson, Anthony Watson, Matthew Botham, Daniel McGuinness and Sam Knowles

Anthony Watkins, 28, of no fixed address, charged with and pleaded guilty to; Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Drug (Cocaine) and heroin. He has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Matthew Botham, 20, of no fixed address, charged with and pleaded guilty to; Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Drug (Cocaine) and heroin. He has been sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.

Daniel McGuiness, 26, of no fixed address, charged with and pleaded guilty to; Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Drug (Cocaine) and heroin. He has been sentenced to five years and two months in prison.

Jason Jackson, 26, of no fixed address, charged with and pleaded guilty to; conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin, possession of ammunition without a certificate and an affray. He has been sentenced to six years and six months in prison.

Sam Knowles, 20, of NFA, charged with and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack and heroin, possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin, assault and possession of an offensive weapon. He has been sentenced to six years and six months in prison.

Three men from Liverpool were also sentenced:

Michael Dineley, 27, of Ellerman Road, Liverpool, charged with and pleaded guilty to; Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Drug (Cocaine). He has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

David Mochrie, 39, of West Road, Prenton, Liverpool, charged with and pleaded guilty to; Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Drug (Cocaine) and two counts of possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition. He has been sentenced to nine years and four months in prison.

Stephen Foster, 27, of Lapwing Close, Liverpool, charged with and pleaded guilty to; Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Drug (Cocaine). He has been sentenced to five years and four months in prison.

A final word from the crime commissioner

:Lancashire police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “These sentences send out a clear message that the police will do everything in their power to keep our streets safe from the criminal gangs whose illegal activities are putting lives at risk.

“These men were responsible for plotting to supply a phenomenal amount of heroin and cocaine in Preston. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Lancashire’s police officers they are now behind bars and another organised crime gang has been dealt a major blow.

“This is an excellent result and shows that we remain committed to tackling crime and keeping Lancashire safe.”

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