Payback time for drugs gang

Liverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court

Four members of a sophisticated Wigan cocaine gang, currently languishing behind bars, have been ordered to hand over some of their ill gotten gains.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the men, Christopher Thompson, Anthony Jenkinson, Simon Perks and Martin Fish had together benefited by a total of almost £450,000.

They all appeared via video link along with a fifth conspirator, Thomas Gore, but his Proceeds of Crime hearing has been adjourned until February 9.

Following an out-of-court agreement Judge Stephen Everett ruled that Thompson had benefited by £96,355; Perks by £197,764; Fish by £97,797 and Jenkinson by £54,412.

Following the assessment of their realisable assets by investigators, the judge ordered Thompson, 42, of St Wilfrid’s Road, Standish,to hand over £19,671; Jenkinson, 36, of Inward Drive, Shevington £1,184 and Perks, 41, of Sefton Road, Orrell to part with £9,686.

It was found that Fish had no realisable assets and he had the nominal sum of £1 awarded against him. They all have three months to pay or Jenkinson and Perks face another six months in prison and Thompson risks a further nine months behind bars.

Fish, 31, of Bell Lane, Kitt Green and Perks were both jailed for 12 years last December and Thompson received 10 years and Jenkinson and Gore each got six year terms.

The gang’s ringleader Adam Perks - who is on the run and who is Simon Perks’ twin brother - had arranged to bring in cocaine from Mexico with a potential street value of £5m in two shipments.

And despite police raiding the gang’s lock-up unit in Ashton-in-Makerfield where cocaine powder was being pressed they went on to arrange a further substantial shipment.

This involved hiding the drug in a shipment of coffee beans - to disguise the smell - from California to Felixstowe, said Alaric Bassano, prosecuting.

Jailing the five men Judge Steven Everett said they were involved out of “sheer greed.”

Perks’ right hand man, Fish, was among those who travelled to Felixstowe to secretly extract the illegal consignment from the container and then seal it up again.

He bragged to his girlfriend that they were “made for life.”

Fish and two men involved in pressing the cocaine in the lock-up unit, Gore and Jenkinson, had pleaded guilty to conspiring to produce cocaine. Perks and Thompson both denied the offence but were convicted after a trial.

Judge Everett told the men “you were all involved in this evil drug cocaine” and that Fish, Perks and Thompson were close to the importation.

He pointed out that in his court alone he literally saw “hundreds of cocaine addicts or suppliers” in a year. “There is no doubt this is a real scourge of society.”

The judge told them, “The production was not just for your own purposes but for the onward supply to others.”

He said it was clear that Adam Perks was at the top of the management chain and had been involved in discussions with at least five cocaine suppliers in South America which led to 20kg of cocaine being smuggled into the country in two importations in 2013.

That would have been diluted to make 100kg bringing misery to the streets of the North West and beyond.

“Foot soldiers” Jenkinson and Gore were arrested after police raided the lock-up unit in Pretoria Road, Ashton on March 28, 2014 and two presses, 146 grams of cocaine and adulterants were seized. When Gore’s home was searched eight grammes of cocaine was found containing the same adulterant.

Judge Everett said that at least 5kg of the imported cocaine had gone through their hands though only they knew how much.