£2.5m drugs dealer jailed

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A WIGAN man has been caged for his involvement in a £2.5m drug ring.

Alan Sedgwick was one of three men who admitted his part in the distribution of amphetamine after a massive 38kg of it was found during police raids.

The 56-year-old of Downall Green Road, Ashton, had earlier pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to possession with intent to supply the illegal substance and was sentenced to four years and three months behind bars.

He and accomplices – John Burke of Bamber Bridge, and Barry Roxburgh from Leyland – were arrested after police intercepted a multi-million pound drugs haul at a flat in Bamber Bridge. The operation, was described by police as an “organised and professional drug distribution ring” and one of the largest seen in the county in recent years.

Amphetamines with a street value of £2.5m were found at addresses in Bamber Bridge and Ashton-in-Makerfield during the raids on April 17 this year.

Police acting on intelligence raided the home of ex-marine Burke, 39, in Firbank, Bamber Bridge and discovered Burke and Roxburgh surrounded by drugs and cutting agent.

Roxburgh was wearing a white latex glove, covered in white powder and there was white powder on the floor.

Empty boxes of glucose powder were found in the bin with receipts showing Burke had bought the cutting agent from a chemist earlier in the day.

Mobile phone evidence revealed a number of calls taking place between Burke and Roxburgh and Roxburgh and Sedgwick throughout the day.

A raid of Sedgwick’s home in Downall Green Road revealed a further 20.25kg of amphetamine of varying purity and a bundle of bank notes totalling £745.

Sedgewick admitted acting as a courier, receiving to bags of amphetamines to distribute in exchange for drugs to feed his own addiction.

However he refused to name the person who supplied the drugs to him.

Sedgewick, Burke and Roxburgh, of Broadgreen Close, Leyland, all admitted the charges against them.

Burke’s defence said he had acted naively in allowing his property to be used for the cutting of the drugs after struggling to adjust to life after leaving active service.

Sentencing Sedgwick, Judge Alastair Webster QC told him: “Your role was very close to the source. You were involved in distributing and as a courier in relation to a large quantity of amphetamines.

“Your admissions to teh police make it clear this was not a one off.”

Adressing Roxburgh, Judge Webster said: “You recruited Burke. You overstudied the delivery and cutting. You played a very significant, bordering on leading role.”

To Burke he said: “I regard you as the number three. I take into account you have served in the forces in action and anyone who reas the papers knows a significant properportion of persons who serve in the forces have difficulty adjusting to life on Civvy Street.”

He jailed Sedgewick for four years and three months, Roxburgh for three years and three months and Burke for two years and nine months.

Det Insp Graham Coates, of Lancashire Police’s Targeted Crime unit, said: “This was a significant seizure. These are key players to be handling that quantity of drugs.

“In my experience it is one of the largest hauls I have seen.

“We are pleased with the result and always urge the public to come forward with intelligence which will be investigated.”

A proceeds of crime hearing will follow in due course.