A group of drug dealers in the UK has been sentenced this week to a collective 165 years in prison after a five-year probe into their extensive criminal dealings, according to local news reports.
The investigation began when the gang stopped at a Mcdonald's in the north of England for a bite to eat in 2018.
Police had been trying to track them down, and were able to catch up with them when they got caught on the MacDonad's CCTV. The group had left their 3kg of high-purity cocaine in the car while they ate and it was seized by the police, giving the authorities enough evidence to pursue an in-depth investigation.
What else was seized?
After the police seized the 3kg of cocaine, the officers executed a search warrant in the home of one of the runners, Caroline Dalley. Dalley’s home was found to contain a further 4.15kg of cocaine, 877g of heroin, 13kg of amphetamine, 20kg of cannabis resin, 6049 ecstasy tablets, 896g of MDMA and 378g of crack cocaine. The police also found and seized several shotgun cartridges.
The drugs had a combined street value of £830,000, according to local news source Lancashire Live, which is equivalent to about NIS 3,784,275 or USD 1,038,081.
Forensic evidence led the police to suspects David Burdett, Christopher Reeve and Thomas Bash. These connections aided the discovery of further drugs worth a total of £1.3m, as well as 15 firearms and assorted ammunition.
The judge estimated that the gang had transported 60kg of class-A drugs during the investigation period.
"This was a long and complex investigation that has helped to bring down a major drug supply network worth millions of pounds. We took out criminals at every level of this sophisticated operation; from the top man, Christopher Reeve, to the runners who were doing his dirty work on the streets,” Detective Sergeant Sarah Wolsey from Warwickshire Police is cited as saying by Lancashire Live.
“The result was thanks to the dedication of everyone involved who worked tirelessly to secure evidence and bring these dangerous offenders to justice. They never lost focus on their role in protecting people from harm and reducing the detrimental impact of drugs and violence in our communities.”
Prison sentences for drug trafficking
Combined, members of the gang received a sentence of 165 years, according to Lancashire Live. Thirteen individuals were charged, the oldest of whom is 71-years-old.
Christopher Reeve was given the longest sentence of 17 years. He pled guilty to conspiracy to supply controlled drugs and possession of a firearm.