March 31, 2022 10.00 pm

Thirteenth and final Grimsby drug gang member locked up for 15 years

Unlucky for some and definitely for Joshua Hendry, the 13th member of a million pound organised crime group involved in county lines drug supply and dealing in Grimsby, has finally been sentenced to 15-years behind bars for his involvement, bringing the total amount of prison time for the gang to 71 years.

Hendry, 30, of Lochinvar Street, Liverpool, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, Wednesday 30 March for sentencing following his guilty plea to charges of supplying heroin and crack cocaine in Grimsby between September 2017 and March 2019.

The 12 other members of the gang were all sentenced in 2020 following a lengthy and complex investigation into county lines drug supply and dealing in Grimsby, which began in 2017.

Both overt and covert action took place, with extensive enquiries carried out as part of the investigation with support from other police forces and partner agencies, which ultimately led to the simultaneous execution of three warrants on Thursday, 21 March 2019  in Grimsby, Liverpool and Warrington, which resulted in numerous arrests.

The ringleaders behind the drugs operation, which included Hendry, were based in Merseyside and Cheshire. They transported £1.38 million of heroin and crack cocaine into Grimsby over an 18-month period and used local people, as well as some from outside the Force area, to sell the drugs.

Following a National Crime Agency (NCA) campaign in January this year featuring some of the most wanted criminals in the country, he was arrested in Marbella just 24-hours later and extradited to the UK where he began serving his ten-year prison sentence.

Once back in the country and behind bars, he was then charged as part of the drugs gang, with supplying heroin and crack cocaine in Grimsby, and was due to stand trial. However he entered a guilty plea earlier this month and has now been sentenced, with the latest five-years to run consecutively to the ten-years.

Sergeant Darren Gray leading the case said: “I am pleased that the last puzzle piece in this investigation has concluded and all those involved have now been held accountable for their actions.

“Whilst Hendry thought he could evade the law, it just goes to show the fantastic partnership and close working the team had with Merseyside and Cheshire Police, as well as the Regional Organised Crime Unit and the National Crime Agency.

“Working together helped us to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation, which has culminated in the further success we have seen at court today.

“I’d like to thank the National Crime Agency for their assistance in locating and arresting Hendry in Marbella as a part of an efficient and fast-moving operation.

“We know the effect that drugs and the associated crime and antisocial behaviour that comes with it has on our communities. It brings misery to residents in the areas these groups think they can set up business and it’s an issue we take incredibly seriously.

“We will not tolerate any type of organised crime and we work very closely with other Forces and organisations to build intelligence as to where these groups are operating, and more often than not exploiting children and vulnerable people in order to line their own pockets.

“I would always encourage the public to please, continue telling us about any type of drug-related crime or concerns in your area, or to make contact with Crimestoppers completely anonymously on 0800 555111. With your help, we can collate the intelligence we need to continue to target those behind it and take action against them.

“While you might not see the results straight away, take this case as an example and feel rest assured that the information you provide us is vital in piecing together successful operations, that result in a number of people being sent to prison and what really makes a difference in the long-term.”

Judge Thomas sentencing Hendry said: “I commend the investigation team for the thorough way in which this case has been conducted and I am pleased that officers will be receiving commendations off the back of a length and complex investigation.