Drug dealers who brought huge quantities of cocaine into Lincolnshire were given jail sentences totalling more than 130 years on Thursday.
Organised crime groups couriered in more than £1 million worth of Class A drugs from Sheffield and Essex for sale on the streets of Boston, Spalding and Skegness with up to a kilo of cocaine a time being brought in.
Lincoln Crown Court heard on Thursday that, although police stopped couriers on three occasions seizing thousands of pounds worth of drugs, the gangs had the financial backing to quickly bring in replacement stock.
Some of the drugs seized were of such high purity that police believed it was “straight off the boat” from South America.
John Hallissey, prosecuting, said consignments of cocaine were brought in from Sheffield on at least 17 occasions between January 2017 and June 2018. A kilo of the drug, with a street value of about £50,000, was believed to have been delivered on each journey. Smaller amounts were supplied from Essex during a number of trips.
“Martin Murphy and Daniel Beeken were very much the heads of the operation. Cocaine and heroin was brought in from Sheffield for onward distribution in and around Lincolnshire.”
Mr Hallissey said the operation Sheffield supply chain overlapped with a drug supply network based in Skegness and there was a separate but linked supply chain delivering from Essex.
Police intercepted deliveries on three occasions but the drug supply operation managed to continue before finally being brought to an end in the summer of 2018.
Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, said: “This was a wholesale business which was professionally run for very significant profits.
“The evidence showed that Beeken and Murphy often worked in tandem. Both were strictly hands on. They were described in evidence as joined at the hip.”
The two men had others working for them collecting money and bringing in the drugs and below them was a network of street dealers.
12 people were sentenced on Thursday for offences of conspiracy to supply drugs with the longest sentences handed out to Murphy and Beeken.
Martin Murphy, 51, of Windsor Bank, Boston, admitted two charges of conspiracy and was jailed for 18 years and eight months.
Daniel Beeken, 41, of Campains Lane, Deeping St Nicholas, was jailed for 16 years and six months. He admitted two charges of conspiracy.
Paul Wilkinson, 42, of Hudson Way, Skegness, denied one charge of conspiracy but was found guilty. He denied a further charge of conspiracy relating to drug supply from Leicester into Skegness. He was jailed for 14 years and four months.
Timothy Fisher, 34, of Cygnet Court, Spalding, denied two charges of conspiracy but was gound guilty. He was jailed for 14 years.
Luke Culpin, 32, of Snowdrop Place, Spalding, denied two charges of conspiracy to supply drugs but was found guilty after a trial and jailed for 14 years.
Darren Palmer, 48, of Windsor Bank, Boston, denied one charge of conspiracy but was found guilty. He also admitted illegal possession of a mobile phone in prison. He was jailed for 14 years.
Neil Dodd, 56, of Spalding Common, Spalding, admitted two charges of conspiracy and was jailed for 13 years.
Scott Hurford ,44, of Park Road, Spalding, admitted two charges of conspiracy. He was jailed for 12 years. The court was told that Hurford had previously received a 26 year jail sentence in Thailand for a drugs supply offence from which he was released early.
Heidi Murphy, 46, of Woodthorpe Avenue, Boston, denied two charges of conspiracy but was found guilty after a trial. She was jailed for 12 years.
Hayley Roberts , 29, of Mawson Gardens, Wainfleet, admitted one charge of conspiracy and three charges of possession of cannabis. She was jailed for five years and eight months.
Rosie Warren, 27, of Clough Road, Gosberton Risegate, admitted conspiracy and was jailed for four years and six months.
Charlotte Brooks,29, of Mawson Gardens, Wainfleet; admitted one charge of conspiracy and one charge of possessing cannabis. She was jailed for three years and two months.
Rebecca Patrick, 30, of Eden Court, Rochford, Essex; the partner of Nicky Joseph who headed up the Essex operation, admitted allowing her home to be used for storing cocaine. She was given a six month jail sentence suspended for 18 months.
12 more defendants will be sentenced on Friday, January 31.