The developing stories for East Anglia updated throughout the day.
Norfolk: Drugs Gang Jailed For More Than 65 Years
A drugs gang which organised the supply of cocaine across Norfolk has been jailed for more than 65 years.
The main members of the gang were Anthony Yallop, William Haddow and Nicholas Grady. Thirty-two-year-old Yallop headed up the group from his home in Montgomery Close in Bowthorpe. He collected money from the other members of his network, controlling their clients and then organising buying large quantities of cocaine and distributing it.
Thirty-two-year-old Haddow, of Hereward in Earith, Cambridgeshire was a trusted and close friend of Yallop and provided finance for his bulk purchasing of cocaine and got hold of and delivered the drugs.
Forty-three-year-old Grady, of Colomb Road in Gorleston was considered by Yallop to be his best customer who had a close-knit group of drug users to whom he supplied cocaine within the Great Yarmouth area. His sister Lyndsey Grady, who is 40 and of Southtown Road in Great Yarmouth was also part of the gang.
Forty-seven-year-old Julian Bevis of Smeat Road in Bowthorpe acted as Yallop’s chauffeur, to drive him around to organise the drug dealing.
Five others were also part of the drugs gang:
Max Inkson, 28 and of Beloe Avenue in Bowthorpe
Adam Harwood, 36 and of Brumstead Road in Stalham
Martin Lamb, 47 and of Tottington Close in Bowthorpe
Jason Cornish, 34 and of Courtenay Close in Norwich
Dale Wilson, 31 and of Hanbury Close in Norwich
A nine-month police investigation gathered evidence through surveillance including photographing the group and recording conversations between the defendants. Yallop was recorded stating he could earn around £150,000 a year from his network and arranged payment of monies owed for drugs.
In March 2013 Lamb was stopped in his car in Norwich with over 2 kilos of cocaine in the vehicle. Later that month a warrant was executed at Lyndsey Grady’s home address – more cocaine was seized, along with drugs paraphernalia. In June 2013 Wilson and Cornish were stopped in Acle and both had cocaine on their person when searched.
The total amount of cocaine seized in the investigation has an estimated street value of over £100,000. Numerous mobile phones and around £30,000 in cash was also seized during the investigation.
Six admitted their part in the criminal gang; Haddow and Lamb pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, Harwood, Cornish and Wilson admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine, and Bevis pleaded guilty to encouraging or assisting the commission of offences believing they would be committed, namely Class A drug possession and supply and control of criminal property.
Nicholas Grady admitted two counts of being concerned in the supply of drugs but denied conspiracy to supply cocaine along with Yallop and Inkson, whilst Lyndsey Grady pleaded not guilty to being concerned in the supply of drugs. All four stood trial at Norwich Crown Court, but were convicted by a jury of these offences.
Today, (4th March) the gang have been sentenced as follows
Yallop 16 years
Nicholas Grady 13 years
Inkson 7 years 6 months
Lyndsey Grady 3 years
Harwood 2 years 8 months
Bevis 4 years
Lamb 6 years
Haddow 8 years
Cornish 3 years 6 months
Wilson 2 years
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Gary Bloomfield said: "After a lengthy investigation it is pleasing to see that some significant sentences have been handed out and members of an organised crime group have been removed from our streets. We aim to create a hostile environment for those engaging in this type of criminal activity and will continue to target people involved in the drugs market.
"Following today’s sentencing, we will apply under the Proceeds of Crime Act to confiscate the money and assets the group gained to ensure they do not prosper from their criminal activities.”
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Mattin of the Norfolk and Suffolk Serious and Organised Crime Unit said: "Whilst Norfolk is a safe place, we are continually working to target organised crime groups. Due to the hidden nature of this work the public are largely unaware of these operations until we get an outcome like this.
"Communities can play a big part in tackling serious and organised crime, as whilst it sounds very grand, it can be happening on your doorstep as groups spread far and wide as Yallop’s associates did. Lower level offending can sometimes be linked back to people controlling criminal enterprises across a wide area, and so any information local people can pass to police or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously can help us to combat this. Police enforcement is not taken lightly though, and is based on significant intelligence that officers develop from information we receive.
"We work with our partners including Trading Standards at a more local level, other forces locally through the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit all the way up to the National Crime Agency to disrupt serious and organised crime and bring down networks like Yallop’s. Whilst his gang now begin lengthy prison sentences, their drug dealing activities have now ceased making the local communities in which they operated much safer places.”
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