Six members of a Manchester drug gang have been jailed for a combined total of over 37 years after dealing heroin and crack cocaine in Grimsby.
The six men all admitted their role in the county lines operation. They were jailed for 37 years and four months after officers spent the last three years gathering evidence to piece together the case.
They ran the operation via addresses in Hainton Avenue, Thorgam Court, Farebrother Street, Freeman Street, Sussex Street, and St Augustine Avenue.
Two of the gang, who had also admitted being involved in the operation, absconded from court on Friday. They are being hunted by officers.
Lauren Griffin, 25, and Billy Griffin, 28, both of Biddinsham Walk in Manchester will be sentenced at a later date.
All eight members of the gang admitted conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine between October 2015 and October 2016.
Robin Griffin, 31, of Biddisham Walk, Manchester, also admitted possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply. He was jailed for nine years and nine months.
Bonar Kekula, 28, of Harrowby Drive, Collyhurst, Manchester, was jailed for seven years.
John Brady, 29, of Northridge Road, Manchester, was jailed for five years.
Gerrard Downs, 31, of Abderdare Walk, Manchester, was jailed for six years and three months.
Lee Hughes, 30, of Aldbourne Close, Manchester, was jailed for seven years.
Liam Oxley, 31, of Aswell Street, Louth, was jailed for two years and four months.
Lauren and Billy Griffin
Lauren Griffin, 25 and Billy Griffin, 28, both of Biddinsham Walk, Manchester, absconded from court on Friday and are being hunted by officers.
Operation’s key finds
- Officers recovered thousands of pounds in cash.
- Heroin and crack cocaine with the value of almost £8,500 was taken off the streets off Grimsby.
- £7,370 in cash was found in a handbag during a warrant at a flat in Thorgam Court on Monday, October 20, 2015.
- On Sunday, December 28, 2015, Robin Griffin crashed his car trying to evade officers in Matlock Drive. He was found hiding in a bin and we recovered mobile phones containing evidence of drug dealing.
- On January 28, 2016, officers recovered £1,500 hidden in a toilet cistern during a search of a house in Farebrother Street, along with multiple mobile phones.
- Bonar Kekula was found hiding next to a divan bed during a search of a house in Hainton Avenue on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. £845 was found hidden in a secret hollow under the bed. Another £2,105 was found in a sock hidden under the bath.
- During the same search John Brady was found hiding behind a bedroom door and a bag containing multiple ‘deals’ of crack and heroin were recovered.
- On Thursday, May 19, 2016, plain clothes officers spotted a van acting suspiciously in Lord Street. The vehicle was stopped by a marked car. Gerrard Downs got out and ran but was pursued and quickly arrested. Mobile phones, heroin, crack cocaine and £1,062 were found scattered in his wake.
- Crack cocaine, heroin and £1,000 were uncovered during a search of Liam Oxley’s then home in Sussex Street on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
- On Monday, October 3, Heroin to the value of £3,710 was found as a result of a warrant at an address in St Augustine Avenue, along with drug dealing paraphernalia. (pictured right)
Detective Sergeant at Humberside Police Steve Elliott said: “This has been a complex investigation, over a long period of time, which dealt with very serious offences.
“We know the impact that the actions of this group – and all those who deal in drugs – has on the wider community and by securing these sentences, we hope that we will make a huge difference to the people of Grimsby.”