A DRUG dealing gang has been put behind bars for its part in a multi-million pound plot to supply heroin in the North-East.
Between April and November last year, the organised crime group were involved in a major operation to bring heroin from Liverpool to Darlington before bulking it out with paracetamol and caffeine and selling it on.
The heroin had a street value of more than £2 million.
The four men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, namely heroin, and were sentenced at Teesside Crown Court last Friday.
Scott Wells, 36, of Hargreave Terrace, Darlington, was jailed for seven years for his role in organising the group and meeting with the supplier in Liverpool.
Daniel Giroux, 38, of Barden Moor Road, Darlington, was sentenced to six years in prison. The court heard he took over the lead role in the group while Wells was out of the country, and also played a part in the bulking of the heroin.
Christian Oliver, 45, of Stocksmoor Road, Darlington, and Colin Hughes, 36, of Chelmsford Street, Darlington, both received three years in prison.
The court heard Oliver’s role in the group was to distribute the heroin once it had been bulked. Hughes travelled to Liverpool to meet with the supplier, but played a limited role in the conspiracy.
The group was prosecuted as part of Operation Sledgehammer, Durham Police’s campaign against organised crime in County Durham and Darlington.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Ashton said: “We are really pleased that these four men who were responsible for the distribution of heroin in Darlington are now off the streets and behind bars.
“Durham Police takes organised crime extremely seriously and these sentences send out a clear message to those who are actively involved in organised crime that we will find you, we will prosecute you and we will bring you to justice.”
Anyone with information about drug dealing in their area can call Durham Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.