Wigan cocaine ring swoop leads to hefty jail terms
An undercover drugs bust - which smashed a heroin and cocaine ring in Wigan - has now resulted in jail terms totalling more than 23 years.
Detectives used covert surveillance to record video and audio evidence, around the Ormskirk Road area, to unravel a network which revolved around several homes in the town and close associates in Liverpool.
Prosecutors say unsuspecting addicts were manoeuvred into conversations with the undercover officer, and numbers were then passed on for known dealers.
This led to the officer making a number of “test purchases” and using hidden cameras and audio devices to amass a wealth of evidence against the wider gang.
Police conducted a series of raids last December and eventually charged 10 people with conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine through 2017.
Mobile phones, used to set up street deals, were recovered and police also seized a haul of mixing agents, which are used to “bulk up” individual heroin and cocaine transactions.
One such “foot soldier” for dealers was Daniel Dyson, prosecutor Tess Kenyon told a previous hearing.
Dyson acted as a “go-between” for those higher up the chain, and was a driver.
The 25-year-old, of Ormskirk Road, was jailed for 58 months for drugs conspiracy offences by Judge Richard Gioserano at Bolton Crown Court. In the dock alongside him was Lee Kye, who was arrested a short time after the initial raids, and is said to have been more heavily involved. Kyte, 42, of Scholes, was jailed for 68 months.
Kevin Barr, 35, of Vine Street, Whelley, was jailed for 40 months, at the same hearing, and Kayley Glover, 27, also of Ormskirk Road, was given a 32-month sentence.
Last month two dealers from the Merseyside end of the network were also jailed by the same judge. Stephen Smith, 52, and Kim O’Brien, 46, both insisted that they had been “co-erced” into becoming involved.
Smith was seen dealing on seven separate occasions but O’Brien was only alleged to have been involved for a fortnight.
The pair, both from Chelsea Court in the Stockbridge Village area of Liverpool, were jailed for four-and-a-half years and 27 months respectively. A 46-year-old woman from Wigan was given a community sentence in April.
Speaking after the initial raids Supt Steve Keeley, said: “Drug abuse, addiction and supply have a devastating effect on individuals, those close to them and on the communities they live in.”