Five Wigan men jailed after police smash major drugs ring

In total seven men have been sentenced to more than 51 years behind bars.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 3:53 pm

The men have been put in prison for their roles in a class A and B drugs conspiracy which was uncovered by a dedicated Greater Manchester Police (GMP) operation.

The five men from Wigan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs at Bolton Crown Court.

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Scott Round

Round, 33, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs, while Walsh, 35, was given seven years and eight months in jail for the same offence.

Hill, 32, received nine years and six months in prison for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs while 22-year-old Jones was given eight years and six months for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and wounding with intent.

Tempest, 34, was sentenced to three years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Arran Parkin, 46, who is currently in HMP Manchester serving a 14-year sentence for conspiracy to commit GBH, was also sentenced at an earlier date to nine years, to run consecutively to his current jail time.

Joshua Hill

Parkin was found guilty after a five-week trial at Bolton Crown Court.

Thomas Kavanagh, 36, was sentenced to four years at an earlier date while the investigation was still live and has already served his sentence in prison.

The sentencing on Wednesday was the result of a large-scale investigation by GMP's Serious and Organised Crime Group (SOCG) as part of Operation Billabong, targeting drug supply in Greater Manchester.

From September to November 2019, officers conducted a surveillance investigation culminating in a number of warrants being executed at numerous addresses in Wigan.

Cameron Jones

Police seized a significant amount of drugs, namely cocaine, ketamine and cannabis, as well as cash, mobile phones and paraphernalia commonly used in the preparation and distribution of drugs.

It was during these warrants that the convicted were arrested and later charged.

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Norman, of GMP's Serious and Organised Crime Group, said: "Today's result is a success for the investigation team that have worked tirelessly to make sure that these men have been taken off the streets of Greater Manchester and are no longer able to contribute to the devastating drugs trade that sees communities living in fear and people's lives destroyed.

"This was a well-funded group of criminals who used encrypted mobile devices which utilise increasingly sophisticated technology to attempt to hide messages from police.

Craig Walsh

"These devices are almost exclusively used for criminal activity but our specialist officers were able to infiltrate the devices to recover crucial evidence which helped convict these people.

"I hope todays sentence sends a strong message to anyone involved in this type of crime that we will catch up with you and do all we can to see that you are brought to justice."

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Adam Tempest