A convicted Lincolnshire hare courser has been jailed for 10 years following an investigation into a drug operation which amounted to a two year conspiracy valued at around £35 million.
John Devine, 32, formerly of Worcester Crescent in Chaddeston, Derby, was jailed after he was found guilty at Derby Crown Court of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Further enquiries by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), supported by Derbyshire Constabulary, led to the arrest of Devine and three other men Benjamin Mousley, Liutauras Streckis, and Alvydas Giedraitis.
This investigation uncovered £1.3 million-worth of heroin, cocaine and cannabis, three firearms and £500,000 in cash at a house in Derby in May 2018.
Numerous empty bags and packaging pointed to a £35 million conspiracy over a two-year period.
The four men have been jailed for a combined 61 years.
Chief Inspector at Lincolnshire Police, Phil Vickers says: “As we saw last September with the conviction of another Hare Courser, Thomas Jaffray, for his part in a £100 million drug supply gang, John Devine was well known to Lincolnshire Rural Crime Officers for involvement in Hare Coursing.
“We know that many Rural Crime offenders are involved in wider and high-level criminality, and though the impact of their activities in Lincolnshire are felt by our farming and rural communities, the harm they cause through drug supply reaches further still.
“This EMSOU investigation will make rural communities safer, through the disruption of drug supply and the positive impact it will have on our farming community.
“This year Lincolnshire Police is taking a national lead on making the links between rural crime offenders and their involvement in wider criminality – we have committed to reducing Hare Coursing through intrusive and effective means, wherever offenders come from and whatever other criminality they are involved in.
“These men intended to flood Derbyshire with cocaine, bringing untold harm to our communities.
“These lengthy jail terms have now closed the tap on their offending, indefinitely.
On Wednesday, May 15 2019 the men were jailed as follows:
Alvydas Giedraitis, formerly of Silver Street in Enfield, London: 20 years.
Liuturas Streckis, formerly of Main Avenue in Enfield, London: 19 years.
Benjamin Francis Mousley, formerly of Friar Gate in Derby: 12 years.
John Martin Devine, formerly of Worcester Crescent in Chaddeston, Derby: 10 years.
They join Warwickshire man Ivan Graham, aged 35, who was jailed in October 2018 for 24 years in connection with the May discovery.
If you have information about hare coursing please call Crimestoppers on 0800 783 0137 to report anonymously. Alternatively call 101 or 999 if there is a risk to life.