Nine members of an organised crime gang which transported large quantities of drugs from the West Midlands into Lincolnshire have been given jail sentences totalling almost 80 years.
Lincoln Crown Court was told that couriers made repeated trips from Birmingham and Coventry bringing crack cocaine, heroin and cocaine to Boston and Grantham.
Investigations revealed that Jermaine Alcide, who headed up the gang with his step father Wade Walker, set up two sham companies in a bid to explain the money he was earning from drug dealing.
Members of the gang regularly changed their mobile phones with Alcide using 13 different phones during a period of just seven months.
Detectives pieced together phone records and used the information together with evidence from automatic number plate recognition cameras and cell-site analysis. This provided detail of where a mobile phone was being used from to produce evidence which linked members of the gang together leading to their convictions.
Police twice disrupted the gang when they stopped cars making the journey into Lincolnshire in September and October 2017.
Arrests were made and both cash and drugs were recovered but the supply chain continued to operate until officers staged a series of raids in December 2017.
During the police operation, led by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, around 1kg of high-purity Class A drugs were recovered.
This was in addition to a significant quantity of cannabis and around £20,000 in cash. The drugs were seized between September and December last year.
Judge John Pini QC , passing sentence, said: “It is plain that this was a well-organised, carefully planned and coordinated conspiracy to supply class A drugs. This was the multi commodity supply of high purity drugs.”
The judge said that both Alcide and Walker were leading players in what was a large-scale drug dealing operation involving organised crime gangs in Grantham and the West Midlands.
He said: “Jermaine Alcide was head of the Grantham organised crime group. He was a significant wholesale supplier who coordinated the sourcing and supply of drugs.”
The judge said that Shireboy Events Ltd and a property development company Mansa Developments which Alcide set up were sham companies.
“These companies were designed to provide an explanation for his lifestyle. They were to provide a cover and an explanation for any income he had.”
Judge Pini described Walker as a regional distributor of class A drugs who performed a similar role to Alcide.
Walker used a property in the Coventry area to store his supplies and a second stash of drugs was set up in the area of Redmile and Bottesford close to the Lincolnshire border.
Alcide, 37, of West Street, Barkston, near Grantham, was jailed for 16 years and two months.
Walker, 58, of Earlsdon Avenue North, Earlsdon, Coventry, was jailed for 14 years and 10 months.
Darren Burden, 29, of Hornsby Road, Grantham, who acted as Alcide’s right hand man, was jailed for 11 years and three months.
Lewis Peters, 22, formerly of Boston but now of Cox Drive, Bottesford, Leicestershire and Clinton Haw, 23, of Carlton Road, Boston were each jailed for nine years.
Martin Hart, 35, of Bridge End Road, Grantham, was jailed for seven and a half years. Craig Haynes, 30, of Beechcroft Road, Grantham, was jailed for six years.
James Evans, 55, of New Beacon Road, Grantham, was jailed for three years and nine months. He was described as having a low intellectual ability and was only involved for a one month period.
Bobbie-Jayne Pritchett, 22, of Childs Avenue, Bilston, Wolverhampton, was jailed for two years and four months. She was also involved for a shorter period than other defendants.
All nine pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs between May 1 and December 15 2017.
Detective Inspector Paul McMahon said: “These men regularly transported heroin and cocaine from the West Midlands to be sold on the streets of Boston and Grantham with no regard to the damage it brought to our communities.
“These convictions are a direct result of the professionalism and dedication of the officers and staff from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit and Lincolnshire Police, working together to stop this organised group from operating in Lincolnshire.”