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six jailed for more than 30 years

26 Apr 2016 08:00 AM

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Six people jailed for drug offences across the force.

They have been collectively sentenced to more than 30 years as part of two police operations run by Northumbria Police's Priorities and Organised Crime Team in conjunction with Durham Constabulary's Serious Crime Unit.

Lee Stokoe, 44, of Purely, Pattinson, Washington has been sentenced to six years nine months for conspiracy to produce Class B Cannabis.

Duncan Miller, 35, of Vauxhall Road, Liverpool, has been sentenced to three years for conspiracy to produce Class B Cannabis.

Paul Craggs, 33 of Wedgewood Gardens, St Helens, Merseyside has been sentenced to three years for conspiracy to produce Class B Cannabis.

Paul Dodds, 52 of Hepburn Grove, Sunderland has been sentenced to seven and a half years for conspiracy to supply class A Cocaine and conspiracy to produce  Class B

Anthony Willcock, 43 of Woodside, Shadworth, Co Durham has been sentenced to seven and a half years for conspiracy to supply class A Cocaine and conspiracy to produce  Class B.

Kate Bruce, 29, Lambton Drive, Hetton-le Hole, Sunderland, has been sentenced to three years for conspiracy to produce Class A Cocaine.

Operation Zurich was a Priority and Organised Crime Team operation which ran from October 2012 to December 2012. As part of the intelligence-led operation, the five men were believed to be establishing cannabis farms which were capable of producing more than 25 kilos of cannabis a year.

A warrant was carried out in December 2012 which led to the arrest of Anthony Willcock and Paul Dodds after a 1kg block of 76% pure cocaine was recovered with a potential street value of £120,000.

The team also carried out enquiries into the phones used by the group and analysis of key evidence led officers to locate Duncan Miller and Paul Craggs in the Merseyside area in 2013.

In January, this year Operation Zurich was joined with Operation Bolder for the trials where Lee Stokoe was convicted for conspiracy to produce Class B Cannabis.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Knox of the force's Priority and Organised Crime Team (POCT) has welcomed today's result and praised the team for their excellent work. He also warns more arrests are coming.

DCI Paul Knox said: "This has been a complex but very carefully managed investigation and the team has done a brilliant job of getting these men before the courts.

"Tackling organised crime is a priority for the force and by taking these people off the streets will, in turn, keep their drugs off our streets too.

"I hope this serves as a warning to other crime groups and those involved in any sort of drugs crimes, - we are watching and will be making more arrests in the future.

"We know who these people are and our team continue to carry out covert operations to ensure offenders are stopped in their tracks."




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